Factors Courts Consider When Deciding Who Gets Child Custody

Factors Courts Consider When Deciding Who Gets Child Custody

Aug 07

One usual cause of disagreement between divorcing couples is child custody, as there are times when both parents do not want to be separated from their child. Gone are the days when child custody was awarded solely to the mother, due to the observance of a practice called “maternal preference.” This preference was based on the presumption that mothers were better equipped with the love and concern necessary in raising children.

Many courts today 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 an unfit parent can be due to many different reasons, such as:

  • Being abusive to the child;
  • Being a bad influence to the child (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; or,
  • 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 he/she needs the parent most, like in 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, though, 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.

The ill behavior of your new partner, which may have an unfavorable effect on the child, can also keep the court from deciding in favor of the parent under such circumstance. Many other things are considered by the court, including the possible custodian’s health, age and financial opportunities.

Thus, as explained by the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, because of the importance a child custody agreement has on both the lives of the children and the parents, this is frequently the most contentious issue that arises during a divorce proceeding. However, determining what type of custody you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will have is critical to successfully completing the divorce process.

Sole custody, for instance, gives a parent or guardian legal responsibility of a child. There are many decisions and responsibilities regarding the child that those who have sole custody will undertake. Some of these responsibilities include making vital life decisions that will affect a child’s future, such as: medical care, religious upbringing, educational opportunities, and other important life choices.


Are divorce and death really comparable?

Are divorce and death really comparable?

Feb 15

In an interesting blog published in the Huffington Post, D.A. Wolf explored the possibility of comparing divorce and death: how similar (and dissimilar) they are with each other, how one thing could be more impactful than the other. Although we might have different takes on which one is worse, one thing is crystal-clear: both divorce and death are life-changing. Unless you don’t prepare yourself and your family for these uninviting possibilities, chances are you will definitely be caught off-guard.

According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, it can be difficult for a divorcing couple to end a marriage. Divorce is not just an emotionally-charged experience for adult couples; this process can be difficult for the children, too. A joint physical and legal custody, for instance, could be hard for children who will need to be shuffled between two parents in certain times of the week. Deciding who will pay who and how much is another legal struggle that can definitely be arduous for the couple. And so, having the best professionals on your side to help you decide on matters surrounding your divorce can be a great help in somehow alleviating these challenges.

Although both death and divorce cause despair and uncertainty, death in the family generally is worse than losing a marriage. But just like a divorce, legal disputes arising from a family member’s death can make things even worse. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, failing to plan for your estate makes your family more vulnerable to estate disputes and conflicts.

No matter how unappealing divorce and death are, they are possible. And when they hit, they could hit tremendously hard. In times of emotionally-charged challenges such as these, it is important to maintain a mindset that’s positive and forward-looking. You should also be open to seek help and support from friends, family, and professionals if you need to.