How Do Courts Determine Who Gets Custody of Children in a Divorce?
Deciding to divorce your spouse is an unfortunate moment in anyone’s life. Your lifestyle will drastically change when you separate from your significant other. It is even more challenging if your children are in the middle of the situation. You must treat your circumstances carefully to ensure that your children understand the process you are going through.
Kaufman Steinberg LLP – Family Law Attorney Orange County confirms that child custody trials are complicated and require outstanding representation in court. The judge will evaluate your background and circumstances before deciding on the custody agreement.
Maintaining close relationships with your children is essential in any situation. You can seek legal advice from a children’s custody lawyer to protect your parental rights. Being prepared for court before beginning the process will help your case. If you want to know how courts determine who gets custody of children in a divorce, read more below.
“Best Interest Of The Child” Standard
Courts ruling in favor of the child’s best interest is common practice in child custody cases. The judge will consider several essential points before deciding, including safety, emotional well-being, educational development, and the overall happiness of the child. Your background and financial situation will play a substantial role in this decision.
The judge will enforce a parenting plan and a visitation schedule. Depending on the judge’s decision, one of the parents might have to pay child support. Being the primary breadwinner does not necessarily mean receiving sole custody. Having a lawyer guide you during this process will help you obtain parental rights.
Factors That Can Determine The Best Interest
Several factors will influence the judge’s decision. Your relationship with your children is one of the main factors. The judge will evaluate your history with your children as positive or negative by evaluating your background. Your physical and mental health play a decisive role in the judge’s ruling as well. Suppose one of the spouses proves that their presence has a more beneficial impact on the children. In that case, the judge might award them sole physical custody.
On the other hand, the judge will establish which parent provides the most financially, emotionally, and physically. Your living accommodation must be child-proof and safe for all the children. Every custody case varies, and the judge makes a decision based on several factors. The parent’s wishes are also considered, and the judge will provide a stable parenting plan.
Establishing Custody Agreements
Legal custody involves the right to make religious, health, educational, or other vital decisions regarding the upbringing of the children. The judge will establish a child custody arrangement that will be the least disruptive for the children. The judge might rule in favor of joint custody, which is one of the possible outcomes. One or both parents can get physical custody. The parent who takes care of the children most of the time receives custodial care.
The parent who receives sole custody is awarded full legal or physical custody. This type of custody is less frequent, and it usually implies that a parent proves to be unfit for taking care of the children. In most cases, courts decide on a joint custody agreement. In this scenario, both parents raise the children together and share the upbringing responsibilities. What you do during your divorce process can affect child custody. However, having a divorce lawyer by your side will make all the difference.