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How is Child Custody Decided?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Child Custody on Friday, July 29, 2016.

Child custody disputes can be ugly and do not benefit the children which is why it can be helpful for parents to be familiar with how child custody determinations are made and how child custody concerns evaluated. The family law process resolves child custody concerns based on what is in the best interests of the child. What is in the best interests of the child is established after the court considers and evaluates a variety of important factors.

When considering what is in the best interests of the child, the court generally looks to the relationship the child has with both parents, as well as the child's siblings and others who have a significant impact on the child's life. In addition, the child's home, school and community environment are also considered. The mental and physical health of the parties involved in the child custody situation decision is also considered. Additional factors may also be used, depending on the circumstances, to determine what is in the best interests of the child.

There are a variety of different types of custody arrangements that may be available but what is in the best interests of the child will always be the guiding factor influencing child custody decisions. Child custody considerations that must be resolved include physical and legal custody as well as visitation schedules. In general, legal custody refers to the authority to make healthcare, education and religious decisions for the child. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and can be shared.

It is in the best interests of all parties to avoid a child custody battle which is why it is useful for parents to understand how the standard of what is in the best interests of the child is used to make important child custody determinations.

Source: Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute, "Child Custody," Accessed July 25, 2016

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