For many divorcing couples, the most emotionally difficult thing about a split is not property division or alimony. For parents, it is child custody. Agreeing on the best custody arrangement can be challenging and leads to conflict that can last years. To serve as a guide to couples about to enter child-custody negotiations, a recent article offered some advice on how courts try to sort out custody arrangements.
First, which parent is more involved in the everyday activities of the child? This means, who actively participates in the child’s life everyday – from feeding the child to taking him or her to school and medical appointments?
Second, are there any suggestions or history of child or spousal abuse, violence, drug or alcohol abuse, mental health issues or adultery?
Determining the truth can be difficult, and some people will have investigators check with friends and neighbors to get at the truth. Others will take another approach and try to establish what a couple wants and whether they can work together to achieve it.
If a couple is combative, however, the best solution is usually sole custody, especially if one parent wants to protect a child from the negative influence of the other.
Sole custody cases, though, are often extremely contentious. It is important to avoid becoming too emotionally invested in the outcome so that the couple and children are not subject to added emotional stress.
Because divorcing couples are under considerable stress no matter what type of child custody is being sought, getting the right information may prove invaluable. Making decisions during such a challenging time can be stressful, but with the right information a couple may end up with a mutually beneficial agreement.
Source: American News Report, “Getting Sole Custody of Your Child,” Feb. 17, 2014