When two people who had shared children together split up, it is often one parent or the other who receives custody. In some cases, both parents may be awarded joint custody, where they each share a major role in providing for their child. Before walking into your child custody hearing, we highly recommend meeting with an attorney for assistance. Family law cases tend to be more emotionally challenging compared to other disputes handled in court. They can help you prepare for the hearing by providing information, support, and strategy when needed.
Your attorney will do whatever is within their power to see that you are able to continue having a positive and close relationship with your child.
How the Judge Determines Custody
There are many variables a judge is going to consider, before making the final decision about child custody. Factors the judge may use to evaluate what is best, could be things like access to quality education and healthcare, opportunity for hobbies, and which parent can support the child’s physical and emotional needs.
Many parents may worry that if they don’t make more than their former partner, that their chances of being awarded custody are less. However, this may not be the case. If the other parent makes more but doesn’t have enough time to dedicate to spending quality time, he or she may not be chosen for sole custody.
Standards of Best Interests
The family court is going to base their decision on what will be for the betterment of the child’s growth and health. Each state may have different standards on defining what exactly is best, so it is helpful if you consult with an attorney for laws that pertain to you specifically. Despite variances by state, in general the court wants to see that the child can maintain a relationship with each parent equally if possible.
Agreement Through Mediation
Parents who are reasonably amicable with each other and feel comfortable talking directly, may find mediation helpful in resolving the child custody dispute. If parents can work out an agreement that works for both of them, they can avoid the stress and costly fees associated with attending family court. In mediation, an unbiased third party representative is present to facilitate the conversation. If you have ever experienced violence or abuse from your former partner, an attorney may suggest that perhaps mediation is not the best option for you. Under no circumstances should your safety be in jeopardy during child custody negotiations.
We can imagine how much anguish you may be experiencing right now, at the thought that you may lose your child in the custody battle. Call today to book your appointment with a child lawyer.