Divorcing parents face a complex dilemma. In most cases, they both want what’s best for their children. However, they may have different views on what that is. When they live together, parents can work out these issues amongst themselves. When they live separately, serving the children’s best interest is a little more complicated.
How Court Decide Custody
A divorce court must look at a variety of factors when it comes to ruling on child custody. Ideally, the parents will work together or with a mediator to make a plan for their minor children. When that isn’t possible, a judge may hold hearings to gather information to help him or her make a decision. A parent that has strong feelings regarding the custody arrangement should consult Child custody attorneys as early in the process as possible.
How Drug Abuse Could Affect Custody
Issues like alcohol and drug abuse could play a major role in how courts decide where children will live after a couple gets divorced. If the other spouse has a history of drug abuse, it’s important for the court to know. However, embellishing or exaggerating an issue like this could backfire on a parent who isn’t being honest. Courts understand that some parents will do and say anything to keep custody of their children. They have means to find out the truth and act in the best interest of the children.
Divorce courts today understand the importance of both parents in a child’s life. That’s why fathers are equally as likely to be the custodial parent as mothers and parenting time is encouraged. Shared custody arrangements are generally preferred by courts whenever possible. In cases where one parent has a history of drug abuse, courts might place limits on the amount of time they are unsupervised with their child.
It’s essential for parents to look past their own issues with their former spouse and consider what is truly in their children’s best interests. It’s not fair to make children choose between the two people the love the most. Family courts today typically only award sole custody with no visitation or parenting time in rare circumstances.