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Determining What Is In the Best Interest of Children
If you are going through a divorce and you have kids with your ex-spouse, there will be a process of determining who gets custody of the children. One of the most important decisions the court will make is deciding who gets custody of them. The court will consider some overarching guidelines to make this determination. These include the children’s current situation, the mental and physical stability of both parents, potential threats to the children, and also the preference of the children.
One thing that the judge will look at is the current situation of the children. If the established arrangement from any separation between the spouses is working and providing a safe environment with access to both parents, there is a chance the court will maintain that setup. This can create less stress on the kids than an unnecessary change.
Another factor that the judge will weigh is the mental and physical stability of the parents. This includes any history of mental illness or a debilitating physical illness. It also includes the ability to provide mental and physical stability. This means that if a parent does not have adequate housing or income to provide for the material needs of the children, the judge may consider this as a negative factor.
If there is the possibility of harm to the children, the judge will be likely to steer them away from that parent. This could include obvious things such as a history of physical or sexual abuse. It could also, however, include the habits of one of the parents, such as drug use or alcoholism. If the behavior of a parent poses a threat to the children, this could be a reason for a judge to place them with the other parent.
A final consideration with children who are old enough to articulate their feelings and preferences is the opinion of the kids. While a stated preference on their part does not automatically mean that a judge will place them where they want, it is a factor to consider.
It may be difficult to distance yourself from a divorce enough to consider the best scenario for your children. That is why the judge steps in to make the final call. Finding a good attorney, however, will also help you understand the process and requirements of custody decisions. For more information on a child support attorney in San Diego, you may want to visit this website.
Paul advises people on divorce and family law matters. You can find his thoughts at family lawyer tip blog.