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Child Custody in Divorce Cases
The 1,2,3 of Child Custody in Divorce Cases
So even though you will have a Petition for Divorce your petition will include a part that lists your involved children as well as your request for custody. One important consideration is that you make sure you request custody! If your spouse gets their request in first, make sure you (or your representation) legally files your request.
Some states will require parents attend classes if involved in custody. The courts may also require attendance at mediation classes that are designed to help with custody disputes. Sometimes the judge might even mandate these classes even if not required by the state. You might get lucky and be able to do this online.
Whatever you do, just be sure and follow the rules to show your willingness to ‘improve’ your skills at being a parent and providing the best place for your child to be.
What Are the Standards for Determining Custody?
This is a really hard question to answer. Most courts would say they are using ‘best interests of the child’ as a standard for their decisions. These decision could be made by the judge or even possibly a jury.
Most courts would much rather the parents to be able to negotiate an agreement acceptable to both sides rather than have to decide a child’s best interest. Do you really want the courts to decide what is best? This is where an experienced counselor of law can be a great benefit.
In the end, if you are unable to come to an agreement with your spouse then remember the courts will use ‘best interests’ and you must shoe that awarding custody to you is in the best interests of the kids.
Best interests can include things like financial resources. Who can best support the children’s needs? (Be sure to balance available funds with time with the children! Parenting abilities, family support systems and many other things can come into play.
In the end, the best chance you have of keeping custody is to retain the services of someone who has experience with the court system, as well as a background of successful mediation, negotiation and outcomes in cases similar to yours.
To ask about child custody and how you might have the best chance contact us today.