Jul 17

Understanding How Child Custody Decisions Are Made

There are a number of questions that are raised when child custody issues are at hand.  One of the hardest things to think about when going through a divorce is all of the questions that you have.  Where is your child going to live?  Who is going to make the decisions for your child?  Is it even possible for you to get custody of your child?  Answers to these questions are the very basis of child custody hearings.  So many people are not sure of what the outcome of child custody decisions will be because they do not understand how these decisions are made.

Child Custody Issues for Parents Going Through Divorce

 When two parents are getting a divorce, there are many things that are going through their minds.  One question that seems to always be present is “What is going to happen to the children?”.  Once you know how child custody issues are handled during a divorce, you can be prepared for what is going to happen to you.

There are two ways in which child custody issues can be solved.


Parents Reach an Agreement

One of the easiest ways for child custody issues to be handled during a divorce is when the parents reach a decision on their own.  The best way to do this is through informal negotiations that go through attorneys, this way both parents feel like their rights are being protected.  Going through mediation can also be an option for parents who are wanting to avoid the courtroom.


The Court Makes a Decision

For parents who cannot agree, the court will need to make the decision as to which parent would be the better option for the child.


Child Custody Issues Facing Unmarried Parents

When two parents are unmarried, things can go very differently in court.  In most states, it is automatic that the mother have custody of the child unless the father files to gain custody.  It is rare that an unwed father will win custody rights over a mother.  If the mother is a good parent, it is pretty much unheard of.  This does not mean that the situation is hopeless, but that the father is going to have to understand what rights he needs to gain custodial rights.

Child custody choices are pretty much the same for parents regardless of if they are married or not.  One parent can be awarded custody with the other parent gaining visitation, the parents can be granted joint custody, or one parent may retain custody with the other parent having little rights to the child.

If unmarried parents are able to come up with an agreement on their own terms, then this is best for the child.  However, if they are not then a full court case might be needed for a judge to determine what is going to be resolved.

Regardless of the situation, a judge is going to make their judgement on what is best for the child overall.  They are going to work to resolve underlying issues with the parents so that the child is able to have the best relationship with both involved parties.