What are the Most Common Child Custody Issues?

Matthew F.

In divorce cases, the most common deliberating factors are often child custody issues. The courts will do what is best for the child in these situations. Some of the child custody issues the courts will look at involve the living situations, the parents' stability, the parents' financial stability, siblings, and the child’s relationship with both of the parents. The courts will make the best choice of the children based on health, education, religious upbringing, and general welfare.

A parent's stability will be considered during child custody cases.
A parent's stability will be considered during child custody cases.

The living situations will typically come down to one of the parents moving out of the home in which they were living. If the parents recently moved into a new home, the courts will have an extremely difficult choice. Moving the children into another new home in a short amount of time can prove to be equally as traumatic for the children.

Grandparents may petition for child custody.
Grandparents may petition for child custody.

Another one of the child custody issues lies in the stability of each parent. The judges must look into each parent’s stability issues carefully and take them into consideration. The courts generally try to keep the children’s lives as normal as possible. Typically, a judge looks at things like how often the parental figures move and how long they have held onto their jobs.

The courts generally try to keep a child’s life as normal as possible.
The courts generally try to keep a child’s life as normal as possible.

In most cases, the siblings will play a role into the child custody issues for the courts. The younger children will be allowed to stay in the same house as the older sibling in most custody cases. During some extreme, severe conflicts, however, a judge may be willing to compromise and split up the siblings.

In most cases, the siblings will play a role in the child custody issues for the courts.
In most cases, the siblings will play a role in the child custody issues for the courts.

Difficult cases for judges to decide will prompt the presence of a family court-appointed advocate to help the judge make a ruling. The advocate will go to the home of each parent and observe the role of the parent-child relationship. Each parent’s living conditions will also be under observation of advocate. After a short time of following each parent, the advocate will describe what he or she saw in both relationships to allow the judge to make a firm decision.

Siblings are usually not split up in child custody cases, although they can be.
Siblings are usually not split up in child custody cases, although they can be.

Another situation the judges will take into consideration is abuse. The courts will look into not only physical abuse, but if the children are abused sexually or verbally. The judge will typically side with the parent who does not harm the child either mentally or physically.

There is typically one circumstance during the court case which makes the child custody issues easier: if the parents decide they are willing to have joint custody of the children. By deciding they will have joint custody, the parents will both spend significant time with the children. This does not always work because of the lack of cooperation or ability from both parents.

The child custody agreements reached in mediation are not legally binding until approved by a judge.
The child custody agreements reached in mediation are not legally binding until approved by a judge.

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