Divorce is a difficult situation for any family to go through, but when there are children to consider, emotions are generally heightened even more. This is one reason that having divorce and child custody lawyers involved can result in more practical, calm discussions.
In a high percentage of divorce cases, it’s not easy for parents to come to an agreement between themselves about where the children should live and how visitations will be worked out. This indecision causes the matter to be sent to a family law court where a judge will have the official say in child custody arrangements.
It’s not uncommon for the divorce and child custody lawyers at Emblem Legal to be asked by their worried clients how exactly a judge will reach this decision. Every state uses “what’s in the best interests of the child,” as the fundamental guideline to determine which parent will be granted primary custody. However, the following factors are almost always key in a judge’s ruling of what that best interest is.
Age of the Child
The age of the children is one of the first things a child custody judge will review. When taking this into account, the court will look at whether or not the child in question is a nursing baby, in which the order will automatically be in favor of the mother unless there are extenuating circumstances. Age shouldn’t sway a judge too much when it comes to children that are toddler age and up, and once children are old enough to reasonably voice their preference, this can also be taken into consideration. The divorce and child custody lawyers at Emblem Legal can help parents with their discussion as to the best solution for the children involved.
Divorce and child custody lawyers should advise their clients to present the court with the best possible living situation, since this will have a big impact on the case. Judges want to see that a parent is able to provide a stable, loving, and safe home environment for their children. Living with friends or staying in a hotel isn’t likely to bode well in a custody dispute.
The ultimate goal of the court would be to see two parents putting their children’s needs ahead of their own and trying to work well enough together to co-parent in a civil manner. If one parent can’t seem to play fair and is uncooperative in a way that makes things even more complicated, it will reflect poorly on them and can make a judge question their willingness to put the children first. Divorce and child custody lawyers know that this is especially true with relation to a parent’s compliance with the other parent’s visitation rights. Interference with the other parent’s relationship to the child is highly frowned upon.
Individual Relationships With the Child
Divorce and child custody lawyers also find it important to show the court what their client’s relationship is like with the child currently, as well as what it was like before the divorce compared to the other parent. Judges are usually interested in hearing whether a parent was absent quite a bit from the children’s lives before the custody dispute and what has made them want to change that.
When it comes to the future of their children, parents need legal counsel that they can trust and count on, to help them through the difficult process of a child custody dispute. That’s why the divorce and child custody lawyers at Emblem Legal make themselves readily available to answer questions and provide the guidance that a parent needs in order to obtain the best outcome possible.