When two people are dealing with a
divorce, the many details can be very difficult to face as it is. However, if
children are involved it can add to a whole new level of stress when deciding
what is in their best interests. It is likely that both parents love their
children very much, and want them to succeed and be happy. Custody decisions
in a divorce then leaves the parents with the heavy decision of child custody.
Even harder, in many cases parents will end up relocating and living in
other cities or states (a "move away"), and if the child moves, then the child won’t be able to
attend the exact same school or switch between homes as easily.
So how do parents decide? While one parent may believe that they should
have primary custody over the child, the question may be: is that what
the child wants? There are so many options to consider, and these decisions
are crucial for the wellbeing of the child.
child custody is necessary due to each divorce case being unique. There are two types
of custody. Primary physical custody involves which parent the child will
be with the most of the time. Legal custody then is where either one parent
has the primary say in major educational, religious and medical decision’s
regarding the child or the decision making power is shared.
In both physical and legal custody, the parents may resort to some form
of joint custody, in which they share in both the physical time with a
child and also in the major decisions regarding the child. Sole custody
means that absolute and total custody is given to one parent and they
are then responsible for the child physically and/or regarding decisions.
It is important to understand that even when parents share custody of
the child; it is difficult to have completely equal division. Usually
one parent will be responsible for their primary care and they will visit
the other parent as frequently as agreed upon.
Child custody is known to be one of the biggest disputes that arise from
divorces because both parents oftentimes want to be as involved in their
children’s lives as possible. When devising the plan for the custody
of the children what is best for them should be the primary focus, not
the dispute between the spouses. When weighing the possible options, take
into account the phase of life the children are currently in. Consider
their age, their personality, what they like to do and even their friends.
It may be important also to consider the child’s personal input.
They may feel closer to a parent or really like the friends or school
they attend in the area.
Some children may feel uncomfortable in sharing their opinion on the matter,
so it is not necessary that they give a preference. Even so, it is good
for them to know that they can have a say in the matter. During this time,
it is important to remind the children of how much they are loved, and
to let them know how important they are even in the process of divorce.
If the parents cannot agree, then a judge will decide.
If you have questions about a California child custody matter please contact a
Los Angeles divorce and family lawyer today for a free case evaluation.