When you are going through a divorce and custody discussion, you will hear the “best interests of the child” a lot. But, what does that mean? This very broad term is used by family court judges to decide what is best for the child or children involved in the divorce.
The Age of the Children
The age of your children matter a great deal in these types of cases. Some judges have a firm belief that younger children should be with their mothers, especially if the mother has been the child’s primary caregiver and if the child is still nursing.
Living Situations for Each Parent
Where you will live after the divorce also determines what is best for the child. The parent who stays in the family home that the children knew may have better results with a custody battle because the judge will not want to take the children away from the home in which they are familiar.
But, also, how far you and your ex live from each other will determine custody. If you live several hours away or plan to move a state away, then the structure of your time-sharing schedule will change compared to a couple that still lives in the same city.
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Supporting the Relationship
The judge will consider how much you and your ex have cooperated during the divorce. If you have been extremely combative or unwilling to compromise, then this may not go over well with the judge. Also, if it is reported that you badmouth your spouse in front of your children, then the judge may decide that the children being with you is not in their best interest.
It is best if you show support for the split home and your child’s relationship with the other parent.
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Sometimes it just comes down to what your child wants. If the judge feels that the child is old enough, he or she may consult the child about which parent they would rather live with or which home they want as their primary residence.
Going through a Custody Battle? Contact a Family Law Attorney
Child custody is a very taxing and emotional time for everyone involved. It is best if you work with an experienced family law attorney that understands the difficulty of these situations. While no one can promise a perfect outcome, the Law Offices of Aliette H. Carolan will work hard to make sure the best interests of your child really are protected.