Understanding Best Interests

One of the most emotionally charged elements of the divorce process is determining child custody. You, your former spouse, and your attorneys will discuss legal custody and physical custody

Legal custody pertains to decision-making, predominantly those regarding religion, medical treatment, and education. Physical custody determines where the child lives and how their time will be split between the parents. 

There are scenarios where both parents agree about these decisions. They sign agreements and there is no need for a court to intervene. But, when you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, a judge may have to do so. 

Because your custody arrangement will be left to someone else to decide on, this can be incredibly stressful. You may be reminded that the court will always do what is in the child’s best interest, which is the legal standard used for these kinds of decisions. To help you during this stressful time, we want to go over two things that the Court may consider when making these custody determinations. 

Location Can Matter

This comes down to where both people live. If you had a family home and the children were raised there, a court may choose to keep them in the home. Though this is not a guarantee, it is something you can ask your attorney about before the choice ever gets made.  

Another way this can be a factor is if either you or your spouse want 50/50 physical custody. In other words, you want the children to live with both of you equally. The actual distance between you and your spouse could interfere with the child’s life. For example, will going back and forth between houses every week have a negative impact on things like their social lives and extracurricular activities? 

Looking For Strong Bonds

Though every situation is different, your child could be interviewed by a mental health professional as part of the custody evaluation. During this time, a custody evaluator may get a better understanding of how strong your relationship is.

If you haven’t been around the children as much as you’d prefer because of work or other obligations, that doesn’t mean you can’t see your kids in the future. But not being the primary caregiver could impact custody—though several other factors get considered

Judges, especially those who have experience in family law courts, may get a feel for the parents asking for custody. Is one person fighting for custody solely to upset their former spouse? And the evaluation from a mental health professional can determine if there has been any parental alienation. That is when one parent speaks negatively about the other to the child. Not only can this be harmful to the child, but the court will seek to prevent this. In most agreements, this is expressly forbidden.

Csépes Law Offices 

The process of divorce and fighting for custody of your children is stressful and emotional. Contact Csépes Law Offices for professional legal support for child custody, alimony, and any other family law matter. Take one less complication off your plate by letting us handle your legal issues.

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