Without question, child custody issues can be some of the most complicated and emotionally charged issues that any couple will face during a divorce. This only makes sense. For most parents, there is nothing more important in their lives than their children, and it is understandable to feel some amount of stress and worry about making the decisions and arrangements that are best. It can also be hard – but necessary – to put any difficult and unpleasant feelings you may have toward your spouse as a result of the divorce aside, and to work together toward doing what is best for your children. The effort is certainly worth it though, and as with all other issues in a divorce, this issue is one that couples can best handle cooperatively.
When it comes to child custody matters, as with almost every other matter a couple must face during a divorce, you can always choose to address the issues on your own, by agreement, with the assistance of your attorneys. The benefit of doing so is that you have the flexibility to work together and create a custody arrangement and schedule that truly fits your family’s needs. After all, the simple truth is that no judge in any courtroom anywhere will know your family as well as you do. This is not to mention that if you later need to modify the agreement as your life circumstances change, you’ll have the freedom to do that too.
In other cases, however, for any number of reasons couples simply can’t come to an agreement on custody on their own. In those cases, a court will determine the custody arrangement for the family. Both spouses will have the chance to present evidence, which might include testimony from coaches, teachers, psychologists, friends, family, and depending upon the age, even the children themselves.
While courts will consider several factors and a variety of types of evidence when making a custody decision, the guiding principle in all cases will be what the court ultimately determines is in the best interest of the child. Of course, every family is unique, so every custody determination will be unique too. The judge will then enter an official custody order, which will be the arrangement that the family follows until and unless it is modified in the future.
We hope that the articles in this section will be helpful to you as you consider one of the most important issues that you are likely to confront during your divorce and contemplate what the best arrangement for your family might be. While these articles are a wonderful resource to help you navigate the issues that might arise during a child custody dispute, they are no substitute for the advice and assistance of an attorney who knows and understands the law, and who can help you to apply it to your family’s unique situation. At the Law Office of Dustin McCrary, we’re here to help. Call us at any time.