The Issue of Child Custody

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Issue of Child Custody

One cause of disagreement between divorcing couples is child custody, as there are times when each parent does not want to be separated from his/her child. In the olden days, child custody was never a major court issue since courts always awarded child custody to the mother, due to the observance of a practice called “maternal preference”. This preference was based on the presumption that mother were better equipped with the love and concern necessary in raising children.

Today, many courts consider awarding custody of the child to both parents, especially if this will be in the child’s best interest. And this is most probably the decision that a court would arrive at, unless one parent is deemed and proven unfit by the court. Being judged as unfit can be due to many different reasons, such as a parent: being abusive to the child or a bad influence to the child (this can be due to use and dependence to illegal drugs and/or alcohol); exposing the child or allowing the child to be exposed to pornographic elements; using excessive forms of disciplinary acts; being charged or convicted of a crime, and so forth.

Two other important factors considered by the court when deciding who gets child custody are parent’s involvement in the child’s activities and the environment where the parent resides. Spending time with the child and being there when the child needs him/her the most, like during school plays, school meetings and other activities, are greatly considered and appreciated by the court.

If the environment can put the child’s health at risk, or compromise his/her safety, maybe due to the regularity of crimes in the neighborhood or open use of illegal drugs, then these may affect the court’s decision.

Other factors that can affect a court in deciding about child custody (or modifying an existing custody decision) include: the ill behavior of your former partner’s new partner, which may have an unfavorable effect on the child; the custodial parent acquiring an illness that will affect his/her capability in taking care of the child; the custodial parent deliberately doing whatever will sever the good relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child; and/or the health, age and financial opportunities of both parents.

According to The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, “Issues related to the custody of your children may very well be the most important aspect of your divorce. If possible, you and your partner should attempt to agree upon what specific role each of you will play in the lives of your children once the divorce is finalized. While it may be possible to work this out voluntarily, many partners end up going to court for rulings to resolve the disagreements over the custody of their children.

Child custody attorneys understand just how much will be riding on this agreement, and they can develop a comprehensive legal strategy to help you fight for the best interests of your family. That being said, they may be able to help you understand the implications of all your choices so that you can make informed decisions about your child’s future.”

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