Are your children the most important thing to you? If so, then you’re probably anxious if your facing any sort of child custody dispute. Regardless of whether the matter is being handled through a divorce our outside the confines of marriage, the outcome of a child custody dispute has the potential to reshape your relationship with your child. So there really is a lot on the line. Therefore, you need to be prepared to make compelling arguments in your favor, whether you’re sitting down at the negotiation table with your child’s other parent or litigating the matter in front of a judge.
It is extremely important to keep in mind that child custody and visitation is determined based on the type of outcome that best supports the child’s best interests. This best interests standard can be slippery to get a hold of, primarily because it is pretty broad in scope. When looking at a child’s best interests, the court will consider the following:
- The child’s bond to each parent
- The emotional ties the child has to each parent
- The relationship to any siblings and where those siblings are living
- Each parent’s ability to provide the child with love and affection
- The physical, mental, emotional, and financial stability of each parent
- The conditions of each parent’s home environment
- Each parent’s overall stability
- Each parent’s involvement in the child’s life, including educational and extracurricular activities
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to foster a relationship with the other parent
- Any history of abuse or neglect
The law also allows the court to consider any other evidence that it considers relevant to the matter at hand. This means the court has a lot of latitude to determine what outcome is best for the child.
It can be difficult to hone compelling child custody arguments when there is so much to take into account, especially if your emotions are running on high. This is where the assistance of a skilled family law professional can help. One of these attorneys can help you assess your case, gather evidence, and create a legal strategy that seeks a positive outcome for you and your child whether at the negotiation table or in court.