Understanding what decisions need to be made for winning primary custody in divorce is the first step to getting the parental rights you deserve, whether you win custody or not. When parents who have children start the divorce process, those children take precedent over any other property or assets. The discussion of which parent will receive custody of the children spark many battles in the courtroom. Traditionally, mothers were always granted primary custody of the children and fathers were like to get little visitation time. In recent years, more and more fathers are being granted set visitation schedules and even custody of the children. Speaking with an experienced child custody lawyer is your first step to getting the chance to win primary custody over your children.
Win Primary Custody in Divorce!
There are several factors that are considered when courts are deciding what parent will receive primary custody in divorce of any minor children. The children’s care and well-being is the most important thing, so factors such as the children’s age, physical and mental health, established living patterns and emotional connectedness with each parent are taken into account. Once the children’s needs have been established, the court will then look at which parent is best suited to meet those needs.
Depending on the child’s age, they may also have a say in which parent they wish to live. The child’s educational and competency level is taken into account when making this decision and, generally, children ages 12 and over may be asked by the court of family law attorney which parent they would prefer to primarily reside. Courts will also take into consideration which parent is more likely to keep the non-custodial parent involved and engaged in the children’s lives. In many courts, however, judges do not let a child decide which parent will have primary custody over them as a judge believes that he or she knows better than a child.
If the children are of a very young age, the courts put more emphasis and consideration into continued care. When they are older, courts look at the situation differently, placing more importance to the continued growth and development of the children in areas such as education, religion, peer relationships and community life. Every custody battle is different and parents who wish to have primary custody of children should be prepared to answer many, sometimes intimate, questions.
If deciding on the custody of children becomes a true battle, it may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a family law attorney. Family law attorneys know the child custody laws for the state in which the parents reside and can help prepare a strong case for the parent seeking custody. They are also crucial in making sure that all information and paperwork requested by the court is prepared and delivered in a timely fashion, only helping to strengthen the parent’s case.
Divorces and custody decisions can be life-changing for everyone involved and can be especially taxing on the children stuck in the middle. It is important for parents to remember this and remain level headed and reasonably flexible during child custody proceedings. Focusing on the issues without being affected by negative emotions displayed by the other parent and relying on a family law attorney can help make this otherwise painful process as streamlined as possible. Contacting a local child custody attorney will set you on the path to winning primary custody in your divorce!