If you are a divorcing parent, you might know that a judge will look to act in the child’s best interests when awarding custody. However, you might not understand what that means.
Separating what you want from what your child needs can be tricky for any parent, especially if there is bad blood between you and your spouse. It is why so many couples spend months battling because they each believe they are what their child needs.
Your child certainly does need you, but they also need their other parent
That is the starting point any judge will work from. They will look to ensure a child spends time with both parents where safe.
Here are some other things a judge will consider:
- Other family relationships: Let’s say your child has a sibling in their early 20s. If they live with you and are very close to your younger child, it may push the judge to decide your younger child should stay with your more.
- Schooling: Schools are about more than education. They provide a support network of friends and adults, which your child may need in this challenging time. Staying in the same area to stay in the same school is typically beneficial.
- Finances: A judge won’t hold it against you if you earn less than your spouse, and they can try to even things out through the divorce settlement and support payments. Yet they will look at what each of you can provide for your child.
- Your relationship with your child: Most kids get on better with one parent than the other. If your child has a strong preference for living with one of you, the judge will consider it, especially if the child is older.
Getting legal help to present your case can help you get a fair share of parenting time. When the situation gets emotional and complicated, you need experienced guidance.