How Are Child Custody Decisions Made?

By on 6-23-2015 in Family Law

There’s no denying that going through a divorce can be an extremely difficult process, often filled with a lot of stress and emotional devastation. Couples that opt to end their marriage will have to make some very difficult decisions together. This includes making necessary arrangements for shared finances and other similar concerns. Divorcing parents have the added challenge of coming to terms with regards to a child custody setup. Deciding on how parenting duties will be shared can quickly become a point of dispute for these couples. In these cases, the only way to solve child custody contentions is through a court decision.

Family courts will ultimately rule in favor of a child custody arrangement that upholds the best interest of all children involved. To come to this decision, a judge will have to examine several factors like the health, age, and lifestyle of both parents, as well as their income and employment opportunities. The presiding judge will also take into account the relationship each parent shares with their children, sometimes even asking older kids about their own preferences. This is to make sure that the children won’t be separated from the parent that has served as their primary caregiver prior to the divorce.

In an ideal situation, a divorce should not be able to disrupt established family dynamics too much. Judges presiding over custody cases generally prefer arrangements that allow each spouse the opportunity maintain an active part in the lives of their children. Divorcing parents who live close by can be given joint physical custody of their children. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, if geographical limitations become a concern, joint legal custody will be given to both spouses and only one will be awarded sole physical custody. The other parent will be awarded visitation rights. Of course, special considerations will have to be made in scenarios where one or both parents are deemed unfit to care for their children. These types of child custody cases are far more complicated, involving plenty of legalities. A highly skilled lawyer is always recommended for these instances.