Child custody decisions are one of the most important types of decisions the family law system makes. The process of making child custody determinations is guided by what is in the best interests of the child and it is important for divorcing parents and parents concerned about child custody to understand that the family law system provides a variety of resources to help them through their child custody process and concerns.
Whenever child custody decisions can be made with as little acrimony as possible, it is best for the children and the family overall. Family law resources work to help facilitate that outcome. Child custody decisions are made based on what is in the best interests of the child. The court takes a look at the child's relationship to their school a community; the wishes of the child; and if there is any child abuse or neglect involved when evaluating factors that influence child custody determinations.
Child custody arrangements can be based on sole custody or joint custody agreements. When custody is joint, both parents are involved more than if one parent has sole custody. It is important for parents to establish and parenting plan and a visitation schedule. The child may split their time equally between both parents or reside primarily with one parent while the other parent enjoys visitation on weekends, for instance, or other times as agreed.
Divorcing couples are encouraged to reach a child custody agreement between them but if they are unable to, the family law court will help. The family law process can also help if a child custody modification becomes necessary. Child custody may be one of the primary concerns divorcing couples have which is why they should be familiar with how child custody is determined through the family law process.