When a couple has kids and decides to get divorced, they must figure out who will have custody of the kids when they split up. There are many situations in which the couple will be able to reach an agreement together for this, but there are also times when a couple cannot reach an agreement. If a couple cannot agree on custody issues, the court will decide who gets custody, and there are several things to know about how the court makes this decision.
The court looks at the child's best interests
It is better for a couple to decide on their own who will have custody of the kids and how they will handle visitation, but this is not always a possibility. If you are in this type of battle, the court will be left to choose, and the court's main goal is to make the decision based on the best interest of the child. The court will look closely at the parents and situation, and they will base their decision on what they see.
The ages of the kids and their opinions
One of the things the court will look at is the ages of the kids, and if the kids are old enough, the court will even take their opinions and thoughts into consideration. When kids are very young, they cannot really offer opinions because they really do not know what is best for them, but when kids are older, such as teenager age, they can often give the court a lot of good information about their situation.
The ability each parent has to provide proper care
The other huge factor involved is the court's opinion of each parent. The court will compare the parents to see who is financially and emotionally able to provide the best care for the kids. They will look at the habits and lifestyles of the parents. They will look at their jobs and many other factors. There is also a chance that the court might have each parent undergo different types of counseling or testing to allow the court to learn more about each parent's mental state and ability to care for the kids.
Parents can share custody of the children they have, or they can choose to have one parent have primary custody rights. If you are in a battle over custody and need a lawyer, contact a law firm such as the Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC.