Child Custody in Divorce

Divorce is a complicated process involving the splitting of lives, assets, and finances. When children are produced by the marriage, the course of a divorce becomes trickier as innocent lives hang in the balance of the court proceedings. To make matters worse, divorcing spouses sometimes use their children as leverage in the divorce to get an upper hand in an unpleasant situation. To avoid this additional emotional struggle, parents can educate themselves about custody issues and make decisions in the best interest of their child.

With divorce occurring in nearly half of all marriages in the United States, children suffer major changes when their parents part ways. In addition to emotional stressors such as fear, anger, and resentment, children usually experience change in their family’s financial situation as well. In order to lessen this shock, parents should make custody decisions that ease the transition into the new lifestyle. Various custody options exist including full custody, partial custody, and visitation privileges. The custody preference of courts is generally to award both parents jointly, then to either parent, and finally to the person in whose home the child has been living or to any other person deemed by the court suitable to provide adequate and proper care and guidance for the child. Courts typically decide the matter based on factors such as the preference of the child, the ability of each parent to allow an open, loving, and frequent relationship between the child and the other parent, the child’s health, safety, and welfare, any history of child or spouse abuse, and any continued use of alcohol or controlled substances by anyone seeking custody.

With parents as highly influential figures, the parent-child relationship is critical. Judges seek to maintain stability and fluidity as much as possible in the child’s life. The judge considers which parent can meet the emotional and physical needs of the child through the divorce and post divorce. If the child has already become more attached to one parent than another, judges will protect this relationship and not disrupt it.

If you have any questions concerning child custody in your divorce, call a San Diego divorce attorney from the Fischer and Van Thiel law firm at 760.722.7646 today.

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