The divorce process can seem complex, especially when you need to make custody arrangements for your children. While you and your ex want what is best for your children, finding a way to agree on the method for supporting your children can be challenging.
Here are three of the most commonly asked questions about child custody.
Do moms always get custody?
Fairly recently, it was common that courts would side with the mother in child custody matters. While it is still a common myth, it is no longer common practice.
As times (and laws) change, it is becoming equally likely that the mother or the father could have primary residential custody.
How do courts determine who gets custody?
Rather than defaulting to awarding primary custody to the mother, courts are now more likely to look at what is in the best interest of the child. Although both parents may feel that living with them is in the child’s best interests, courts take a more objective approach by looking at factors such as:
- Where the child attends school
- Location of the child’s friends and other activities
- Ability of each parent to support the child
- Child’s relationship with each parent
Typically, courts favor arrangements where both parents can share custody and attempt to make the agreement as fair as possible for both parents and children.
What happens if one of us wants to make changes?
Modifying a child custody agreement is simplest when both parents agree on the changes. Typically, if both parents agree, the court will approve the modification and allow the change.
However, if the parents cannot agree, but one or both parents are seeking a change, the court will likely restart the custody negotiation process with the updated information that is the basis for the request. The court will then look at what is in the children’s best interest and make a decision that supports what the children need.