There’s no doubt that divorce changes your life. Your finances and emotions have to be disentangled from your spouse in such a way that your new normal may not look anything like your married life. Just as that change may be for better or worse, so, too, can changes that affect your children post-divorce. This is why child custody is often a hard fought battle for parents, even when they are able to resolve their disagreements amicably.
Know how your child’s best interests will be assessed
To pursue the best possible outcome for your children, you need to understand how a court addresses custody issues. Put broadly, courts make custody decisions based on what it believes is in the child’s best interests. What does that mean? It means that a lot of factors are taken into consideration and analyzed as a whole. Here are just some of the considerations:
- Any history of abuse
- Each parent’s ability to nurture a relationship between the child and the other parent
- The parental duties carried out by each parent
- Each parent’s ability to provide a stable home for the child
- The child’s wishes for custody if the child is old enough and his or her reasoning is sound
- The proximity of each parent to extended family members
- The child’s relationship with any siblings residing in either parent’s care
- Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s overall needs
Don’t be intimidated by so many things to consider
These are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration, which might seem overwhelming. However, you should see it as an opportunity to build arguments that support your position on custody, even if you anticipate being able to negotiate a resolution with your spouse.
Building a custody argument can be tough, though, especially when your emotions are running high. Fortunately, you don’t have to step into a child custody dispute on your own. Experienced family law attorneys stand ready to help you fight to protect your children.