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How is Child Custody Determined in Divorce?

How Will You Handle Child Custody?

Ending a marriage often includes decisions about many important issues, not the least of which is child custody. The very confusing and important point is how is child custody determined in a divorce. It’s natural for both parents to be concerned about how judges evaluate child custody and arrive at a decision regarding where children will spend the bulk of their time. Most parents engaging in the divorce process will have numerous concerns as the marriage comes to an end, including the legal issues it is associated with that are dealt with including, the division of property and liabilities and spousal support and child support.

Who Will Be Responsible For Your Child’s Care?

One of the most frequently contested aspects of the divorce, however, has to do with child custody. This is, in fact, one of the biggest questions in a child custody case regarding who will be responsible for caring for the children and the schedule under which they will move from parent to parent if applicable.

There Is No One-Size-Fits-All In Child Custody

Often the answer to the question who will receive child custody depends on a lot of the process that is selected by the parties involved in the custody situation. In some situations, parents may be able to reach an agreement outside of court about visitation and child custody. Input from counselors, attorneys and mediators may also be used to arrive at a final decision. However, it can be challenging to determine who will receive custody and in these situations, it will fall to the court to use the discretion of court officers to arrive at a final decision. The court considers numerous factors in determining custody.

How is Child Custody Determined in Divorce Based On Child’s Best Interest

The underlying factor is whether or not it is in the child’s best interests and what specific schedule works most in line with that. A primary factor in these custody decisions has to do with who has already been the primary caretaker. In the event that the children are old enough to share their own opinion, the court may also ask for their preference in making a child custody decision.

What Are The Determining Factors In Custody Cases?

In certain situations, individuals outside of a child’s parents may also request visitation or child custody rights. This includes relatives such as uncles, grandparents, and aunts. In general, custody is only awarded to these individuals when it can be established that there is a prior relationship between these individuals and the child. Some of the other factors that are frequently considered in determining who gets custody in a contested case include:

  • The amount of care giving provided by each parent already.
  • Each parent’s responsibilities outside of the home.
  • The child’s ability to stay in their same school system and participate in their same activities.
  • Any other stress factors including domestic violence, neglect or a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

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