The "best interest of the child' is a phrase often heard with divorce and child custody proceedings. If the court is called upon to make a custody decision for a family in divorce, there are factors a judge will consider so that the outcome is positive for the child. In certain cases, such as parental abuse or parental death, custody or visitation could be granted to a grandparent.
As a parent, you most likely make decisions with the best interest of your child in mind. Generally, courts also use this reasoning in determining custody arrangements.
There are so many reasons why divorces happen that it's enough to make your head spin - especially when you're trying to sort through the puzzle pieces of a failed relationship that didn't involve an obvious problem like infidelity, abuse or drug addiction. Still, it's human nature to "figure out" what led to our divorces.
Taking care of a tiny baby is no small task, and your parenting responsibilities don't stop as your child grows older; they simply evolve. You have to prepare your children for school, make breakfast, lunch and dinner, transport your child to various activities before and after your work, attend sporting events, take your child out for entertainment, read bedtime stories and so much more. It's a miracle that any parent can do all these things, but that's what you do every day of the week.
If you're in the process of divorcing the other parent of your children, you and your soon-to-be ex will need to agree on vital issues relating to your future co-parenting relationship. These issues relate to child custody, parenting time, child support, how you will navigate child exchanges and how you will navigate disputes if and when they arise.
When drafting their parenting agreements, parents always remember the noncustodial parent's obligation to pay a set amount of money each month. However, they don't always consider extraneous expenses and who's responsible to pay for them.
Fathers have parental rights just like mothers do. In the case of a child born out of wedlock, however, it's not always immediately clear who the father happens to be. If you are facing a circumstance in which you want to establish paternity and play a role in the life of your child, but the mother is denying you're the father, you may have to step forward and prove you're the father in court.
The question of who is the primary caretaker of your child is essential to family law court decisions pertaining to child custody. If the parents cannot agree on who will receive physical custody of the children -- or how they will split physical custody between one another -- the court will want to determine which parent served as the primary caretaker so it can give preference to that parent's wishes in its decision-making.
Child custody courts will deliberate over many different factors when considering how to decide a child custody disagreement, but one factor will always reign supreme with a state family court judge. The best interests of your child will always be the most important consideration.
It's only natural to want to spend as much time as possible as possible with your child. Also, given the fact that family psychologists tend to agree that children benefit from spending as much time with both parents as possible, we can understand why 50-50 custody plans have risen to the forefront of popularity. Nevertheless, parents are well-served to review their unique situations to evaluate whether this co-parenting arrangement is right for them and their family's needs.