Divorce – Do It Right

Divorce – Do It Right

Decide Your Own Child Custody Rights Before Letting The Court Decide For You

by Joyce Diaz

One of the hardest parts of a divorce or separation is figuring out child custody. It's one of those things that many people leave to a judge because they cannot figure out how to deal with it themselves.

The issue that occurs with such a decision is that it's not always ideal for either parents or guardians. A little understanding of how custody works can help you figure out a custody situation that works for everybody.

Do What the Court Does Before the Court Does it

When the judge has to decide on custody, he or she uses many established guidelines to figure out how best to do it. Remember that custody decisions reflect what is best for the child. These decisions have nothing to do with what's best for you or the other party.

If you want to understand where to begin, here are a few things the court considers when assigning custody.

  • Which parent is the most stable
  • Which parent comes with the most family support
  • Which parent has the most nurturing bond with the child
  • Whether one of the parents suffers physical or mental disabilities
  • The number of children involved
  • Whether a parent has a history of violence or abuse

There are many other considerations, but you can see they all have to do with the welfare of the child. The court will also take the child's preference into consideration if the child has one.

These are many of the very same things you should consider yourself. You don't need an outside authority to decide for you. You and the opposite party can sit down through talks or mediation and figure out what's best for your own child or children.

Doing it Without a Court's Decision

The court doesn't come to any conclusions that you cannot come to yourself. It requires open honesty with yourself and the other party. It also requires legal help. Your family law attorney can help you figure out what's best for the child.

The benefit of doing it yourself is that you and the other party can negotiate on a personal level.

You know if you are better equipped to handle a child and you know if you're not.

You know if the other party keeps a hectic schedule and won't have time to care for children properly.

You know which of you has the mother, aunt, uncle, or other supportive family members that can act as daycare or other support for the child.

Speak Openly with Your Family Lawyer

Speak openly about these things with both the lawyer and the other party. No matter what led to a divorce or separation discussion, the child should suffer the least for the split.

It's better to hammer out these details before ever seeing a judge. Besides, if the situation ever changes, you can speak to your family lawyer about necessary steps for making changes to the custody agreement. If you need more help or have other questions, contact a professional such as Robert L. Flanagan with any questions or concerns you have.


About Me

Divorce – Do It Right

Hello. My name is Stephanie Laurel. I have recently been through a divorce, and although I don’t wish it on anyone, I do wish that everyone could come out of the proceedings feeling they have been taken care of. My husband and I had been married twenty-eight years. We have four children, two of which are still under eighteen years of age. We owned the home we lived in and had a vacation home in a different state. We are civilized people, we get along fairly well considering, but no matter how much we thought we could go through the divorce process without lawyers, it wasn't possible. We each hired a divorce attorney to represent us. Most of the negotiations went well, but when we hit a rough spot the attorneys took over. Thank goodness. I’m going to share more about the experience and hope it helps you.