Ending a relationship is never an easy decision.  And when there are children involved, it can be even more traumatic. It is vital that both sides prioritize the needs of the children.  They need to try their best to avoid making a difficult situation even more stressful or upsetting for them. For this reason, it is important to familiarize yourselves with the rules surrounding child custody laws.  Especially if you find yourself in a position where an amicable agreement cannot be made about the custody of your children.

Check the Law for Your State

Laws relating to child custody vary from state to state. There are factors to consider when going through a court case depend on where you live. Some states take many aspects into account, from the wishes of the child to the cooperativeness of the parent. Others take less into account.  For example prioritizing joint custody over instances of domestic violence. Make sure you do your research so that you are aware of which factors will be considered before your case begins.  Also consider what is likely to come up during proceedings.

In many states such as Utah, although it is beginning to balance out, the mother is often favored for custody of children. So, you might want to consider contacting Hepworth and Associates, who are lawyers in Salt Lake City experienced in family law, and in assisting fathers to gain custody of their children after divorce.

Child Custody Law: The Best Interests of the Child Are Paramount

In the majority of family courts, the best interests of a child are the driving factor in a decision about custody. This means the child’s needs will be the main deciding factor for custody decisions.  Custody custody law takes into consideration the child’s age, needs, development, and whether there is any evidence of abuse. Older children are more likely to have their preferences taken into consideration.  But remember courts do not have to always abide by their wishes.

Relationship Between Parents

Courts are generally more interested in the relationships between the parents and children than between the parents themselves. Both parents have the right to apply for custody of their children, regardless of whether they were married or whether their name was on the birth certificate. There may be tension between parents especially if one has been unfaithful.  Nevertheless, as long as the unfaithful parent has a positive involvement in the child’s life, this will be more important to the courts. It may be that one of the parents is involved in a relationship that the other parent disagrees with.  For example, a same-sex relationship. Again, this in itself is unlikely to be a factor, unless the person involved with the other parent poses a particular risk to the child.

It is important when going through a divorce or custody case that you not only do your research so you are prepared.  Do take advice or complete steps recommended by your lawyer. You should also remember to conduct yourself appropriately.  Always set a good example and prove that you are a responsible and competent parent.

What advice would you add?

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