Every parent thinks that they provide the best environment for their child. In divorce cases, oftentimes parents have strong opinions regarding the child custody visitation schedules and can not seem to come to an agreement regarding a parenting plan. If you are in the process of a divorce and are unable to reach a consensus with your spouse regarding how physical custody of your child should be divided, the court may make its decision regarding what is in the “best interest of the child.” In serious cases in which no compromise can be met between the parties, a guardian ad litem will be appointed by the court to make this determination through an independent investigation. However, courts try to make determinations regarding what will be in the best interest of the child so that they will receive both emotional, physical, and financial support from both parents.
Custody and the Best Interest of the Child
In many cases, it may seem that making a determination regarding the “best interest of the child” is impossible as both parents have vastly different points of view regarding what that constitutes for their child. In these cases, the court will consider several factors. While this list is not absolutely complete, some of what the court will look to regarding the best interest of the child will include the following:
- Examining if the parents are behaving in a reasonable manner with each other and the child.
- Seeing if one parent facilitates the process of allowing the other parent to have a close relationship with the child.
- Determining if one parent refuses to honor a parenting schedule already established during the divorce process.
- Examining where the child currently attends school, and where they would have the greatest ease of attending their school and extracurricular activities.
- Determining if one parent offers more stability emotionally and financially to the child.
- Looking at the emotional and physical fitness of both parents.
- Examining if both parents are providing a routine for a child with respect to homework, bedtimes, academics, activities, family, and friends.
- Determining if there is any history of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by one parent against the other or against a child.
- Researching to see if either parent has a felony record.
- Determining if either parent has lied to the court about anything regarding the divorce.
- Investigating whether the child has heard one parent speak negatively of the other, or if one parent discusses the divorce proceedings with the child in an inappropriate manner.
- Determining what the child’s preferences are regarding child custody matters.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you are in the process of a divorce and are struggling to come to an agreement regarding child custody and visitations schedules, contact an experienced family law attorney at Lankford & Moore Law today. We can help you ensure that your legal rights are protected with respect to your child and fight hard for you to receive the most physical custody possible.