During a divorce, most custody decisions are settled out of court. The parents are encouraged to arrange the most suitable arrangement for their children. The ultimate goal of all custody arrangements is to come to a decision which is in the child’s best interests, and it is believed that in the first instance the parents themselves are the best people to decide what type of arrangement that is.
The most common decision is that the child (or children) will live with one parent and the other will have visitation rights that both parties agree on. Another decision is that a child live with both parents intermittently.
Parents are often encouraged to hire attorneys, counsellors, or mediators in order to help them come to a decision that is in the best interests of their children.
What if a decision can’t be agreed out of court?
If a custody decision can’t be made out of court, then it will ultimately be decided by a family court.
Still, the ultimate question to be answered will be ‘What is in the child’s best interests?’
The following factors will be considered:
- the wishes of the child themselves (if they are deemed old enough to make a reasonable decision);
- the mental and physical health of each parent;
- the child’s relationships with other members of household;
- The history of domestic violence, emotional abuse, drug abuse, or sexual abuse from either parent.
The best way to get your point across in the point of law is to work with an experienced family attorney. These professionals will know the best course of action to take depending on what your goals for custody are – and will be able to express this far better than the average parent.
You can find a specialist family lawyer by getting in touch with the team at Applebaum and Associates.
How is Custody Decided?
Even if you are arrested and charged, there is still hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, like Michael Applebaum, can help you aggressively combat charges, and many will provide a free initial consultation. Investing in your own legal representation may help you avoid thousands of dollars in fines, as well as possible felony convictions and state prison time, depending on the severity of the charge.