Agreeing upon the best arrangement of child custody is often the most contested and emotionally challenging part of a divorce.When determining the type of custody arrangement that is in a child’s best interests, Courts look at many factors, such as:
• Which parent has been the child’s primary caretaker?
• The quality of each parent’s home environment.
• The parenting skills of each parent, including their strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to provide for the child’s special needs, if any.
• The mental and physical health of the parents, including whether either parent drinks or uses drugs.
• Whether there has been domestic violence in the family.
• The work schedules and child care plans of each parent.
• The child’s relationships with siblings and other members of the family.
• If the child is old enough, which parent the child wants to live with.
• Each parent’s ability to cooperate with the other parent and to encourage a relationship with the other parent, when it is safe to do so.
Modifications to Custody or Visitation Schedules
Modification of an existing custody order or visitation schedule is often needed to accommodate changing circumstances and a child’s changing needs. If circumstances change at work or at home, including but not limited to, injury, illness, relocation due to a new job, or if it becomes clear that a former partner is an unfit parent, your existing child custody agreement may be unworkable. This sometimes also relates to move-away cases.
Thus, it is important to choose an attorney who will walk you through the process with patience and care. My motivation is to serve clients through these disheartening times.
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