Determining custody after a couple has split up can become a complex and confusing affair. Even couples that feel as if they parted ways in an amicable manner could run into issues months or even years down the road. With over 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, it is important for all parents to understand how the custody process works and what factors will be taken into consideration.
The Best Interests of Your Child
The laws do change between states, but every judge is going to make the best interests of the child their priority. This means that all other factors will not mean much if the judge feels as if the child will be neglected, abused, or not have a good quality of life in a certain situation. Parents that are looking for full or partial custody will need to speak with their attorney about how they can demonstrate that they are what is best for the child.
Keeping Both Parents Involved
Emotions are often high after a divorce, and this means that many parents file for sole custody. What these individuals should realize is that most courts favor a situation in which both parents are a part of the child’s life. Judges want a child to grow up with both the mother and father in their life unless one of those parties is unfit to be a parent.
Your Child’s Age and Preferences
Just because a child wants to stay with a specific parent does not necessarily mean that the judge will agree to it, but it will be taken into consideration. The judge will first take a look at the intelligence and emotional stability of the child to ensure that they are not being coerced or making a bad decision. As the child becomes older, their personal preference on custody will hold more weight.