How does the court make a child custody decision?

Nobody wants to find themselves discussing matters of child custody, but this happens to millions of people every year. If you are going through divorce, for example, it will only be a matter of time before questions regarding child custody are brought to light.

In an overall sense, the court only cares about one thing: the best interest of the child.

While you and your former spouse have the opportunity to work things out, the court needs to take the child into consideration above all else.

To help avoid a stressful situation, parents often times attempt to settle on an agreement out of court. For example, you could deal with matters of child custody through mediation. With this approach, you don't leave the decision in the hands of the court. Instead, both parents have the ability to talk things through and settle on something that suits them.

Note: the court will take a different approach in the event that the parents are unmarried.

Even though you may not agree with what the court says, it is important to realize that they are doing what is in the best interest of the child.

What matters most is that you are able to spend time with your child, while knowing that he or she is growing in a positive environment.

Matters of child custody can be difficult to address, but this is often part of the divorce process. If you find yourself in court for this, make sure you know what to expect and how to play a part in the process.

Source: FindLaw, "How Child Custody Decisions Are Made," accessed June 27, 2016

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