Thursday, June 21, 2018

Factors that Determine Child Custody in a Divorce

Going through a divorce with children can be an especially trying time for you and your spouse. As your main concern is your child, it's important to determine the custody arrangement. While traditionally the mother would receive the majority of custodial rights, that traditional situation is changing. If both parents are fit and prepared to take care of the kids involved, a more even custody arrangement may be the resolution.

As you navigate the divorce process, you may want the help of an experienced divorce attorney near Lake of the Ozarks. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we can offer legal advice as you determine the custody situation for your children. Whether you are the mother or the father, it's important that you know your rights and our Lake of the Ozarks lawyer can help fight to protect them. Take a look below to find a few of the factors that can help determine the child custody arrangement during a divorce.

Factors that Can Determine Child Custody:

1. Involvement In The Child's Life

No matter what your child's age is, he needs a parent who will be there to support him. Whether that support comes in the form of attending little league baseball games or helping him fill out college applications, the Court will want to see that you have been actively involved in your child's life in the past, that you continue to stay involved during the divorce proceedings, and that you can be trusted to remain involved in the future.

2. Lifestyle

Some lifestyles easily lend themselves to caring for a child, and others do not. If you routinely work 60 hours a week and frequently travel for work, for example, the Court may decide that you will not be able to dedicate appropriate time to raise your child and award primary custody to the other parent.

3. The Child's Wishes

If your child is old enough to express her opinion, her wishes will likely factor heavily in the Court's ultimate decision. The child must be able to articulate the reason for her opinion, and if the reason is valid, the Court may be inclined to oblige.

4. Stable Environment

Children need stability and consistency in order to thrive. If you change residences frequently or regularly have new romantic partners, this may negatively impact your odds of being awarded custody. The Court will want to see that you can provide a stable home for your child.

Types of Custody:

1. Sole legal custody

One parent has the decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to the health, education, and welfare of the child.  The parent that has sole legal custody must keep the other parent apprised of decisions/issues related to the health, education, and welfare of the child.

2. Joint physical custody

This involves an arrangement whereby each of the parents are awarded significant, but not necessarily equal, periods of time during which a child resides with or is under the care and supervision of each of the parents.  Joint physical custody must be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child of frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents.  A number of custody arrangements are possible with a joint physical custody arrangement.  The arrangements can include an equal split of time with the children to a situation whereby one parent has custody every other weekend with extended time in the summer.

3. Sole physical custody

Only one parent is awarded custody of the child.  This generally occurs when one of the parents is deemed unfit to have custody of the child for one or more reasons.

Now that you know about some of the factors that come into consideration when deciding custody of your child, you are better prepared to prove your side of the case. At the end of the day, it's important to prove that you and the environment your child will be in are both stable and safe. Your child's safety and happiness are held in high regard as the judge will determine the right custody arrangement for your child. If you are planning to get a divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks and children are involved, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. We can help guide you through the entire process - from filing to custody arrangements. Don't forget, your first consultation with our law firm is always FREE!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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