Physical custody of a child may be requested and granted to parents who are divorcing. In a perfect world, the parents would resolve their differences out of court. However, disputes over child custody and divorce are frequently complicated. They can be challenging for the pair to resolve independently. The duty of determining the best custody arrangement for the child may fall to the court.
When deciding how to manage child custody in a divorce, the court must take a number of considerations into account. Courts are becoming less inclined to support the child’s “primary caregiver.” Instead, they prioritize the “best interests of the child.” This norm frequently promotes an equal level of parental involvement in the child’s life. Some states, like Kentucky, have even enacted legislation that codifies the 50/50 custody arrangement.
This article provides a summary of the criteria the court considers when deciding on a child custody arrangement.
‘Child’s Best Interest’ Standard
Most governments prioritize the “best interests of the child” in custody disputes. This standard takes a holistic approach to the child in order to safeguard their general well-being. The majority of states now hold the opinion that it is best for both parents to play a significant role in their children’s lives. The court does not automatically favor one parent over the other when using this criteria. However, the court may decide that one parent will have less than 50/50 custody if that parent engages in destructive activities that injure the kid.
What is in the child’s best interests will be determined by the court after considering a number of various considerations. To determine custody and issue a custody order, the court will take into account the following factors:
- Age of the child and the desires or preferences of the child (if they are old enough)
Relationship of either parent to the child
The state of mind and body of the parents
The child’s and parents’ preferred religion
Maintaining a stable home environment is necessary.
Assistance and chances for interaction with either parent’s extended family
Relationships and interactions with other family members
Adaptation to the community and school
Too strict punishment from parents, emotional abuse, or domestic violence
Evidence of drug, alcohol, or sexual abuse by your parents
The family court judge may grant single custody to one parent if the court decides that shared custody is not the best option for the child. This parent will likely be given primary physical custody of the child and may be deemed by the court to be the child’s primary caregiver. Additionally, they may be granted legal possession of the child. In order to provide for the kid financially, the judge may require the noncustodial parent to pay child support.
The ‘Primary Caregiver’ Doctrine:
The “primary caregiver” notion is becoming less prevalent in court decisions. According to this idea, judges would favor the parent who took care of the children the most of the time. The following are some of the criteria used to identify the primary caregiver:
- Grooming, dressing, and bathing
Organizing and making meals
Obligations for laundry and clothing purchases
Health care policies
Encouraging involvement in extracurricular activities
Teaching reading, writing, and math concepts and providing homework assistance
conversing with educators and going to open houses
Together with the youngster, plan and partake in leisure activities.
The court may take these things into account. But today’s courts place more weight on other considerations (including what is in the best interests of the child). View a list of state custody summaries to find out how your state handles child custody.
In fact, since contemporary families embrace shared parenting, courts all over America have shifted toward equal 50/50 parenting. More and more courts are coming to the conclusion that giving the kids time with both parents is in their best interests.
Protect Your Child’s Interests With the Assistance of an Attorney
The custody of the child is one area where there is frequently disagreement, even in amicable separations. In order to decide who gets custody, the court will consider a number of issues. The court is, however, ceasing to take the primary caregiver into consideration. The best interests of the kid are instead the focus of the court.
You can get assistance from a skilled family law attorney in your child custody dispute. They can help you by providing insightful legal counsel and taking child custody laws into consideration. If you are a noncustodial parent, they can aid in advocating for your parenting time or visitation rights. Additionally, they can aid in your representation in custody disputes before the family court.
Speak to a family law professional about your custody dispute right away. Many law firms provide free initial consultations.