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When a couple divorces, child custody can become a hot-button issue. Parents often take each other to court to fight for more time with their children. But what factors influence the judge’s final decision, and how can you prepare for a satisfying outcome?
Read on below to learn what influences child custody rulings and what to look out for as you build your case.
A judge will place a child in the home they feel is the most stable environment. Marital status does not impact child custody issues; as long as paternity is proven, both biological parents have the same rights to their children. While in the past, courts may have shown a bias toward awarding custody to mothers, it is now more common for fathers to have an equal shot at being awarded full custody.
There are matters of legal custody and physical custody. In each one, there may be sole custody or joint custody arrangements. When making custody decisions of any kind, the court examines the role that each parent plays in the child’s life. The ultimate goal is to help them maintain a stable routine and ensure they are supported in their schooling, hobbies, and social development. Many variables can influence how a court views a parent’s capabilities.
When it comes to who gets custody, a criminal record is one influential factor. The more serious the crime a parent committed is, the more that could negatively affect their custody arrangement. Some criminals may only be allowed supervised visits with their children. In extreme cases, visitation may be denied entirely.
When custody issues arise, it is common for social media profiles to be examined by each parent’s legal teams. Never post anything online that could reflect poorly on your character or your parenting style.
While some judges want to avoid involving them, children of all ages may be given the opportunity to voice their opinions on who they would like to live with. Depending on their age and their needs, their testimony can influence a final child custody ruling.
Even when they are separated, co-parents still need to communicate about what goes on with their children. Judges frown upon parents who are distant and reluctant to collaborate on childcare responsibilities. The exes may agree to avoid phone calls or in-person meetings if tension is high. Sticking to text messages and emails can keep things civil—and leave a paper trail of evidence in court if needed. Some judges recommend weekly emails to summarize what went on with the child while they were in each parent’s care. This way, everyone stays informed.
Preparing for a custody case is difficult for any parent, but our team is here to support you and protect your rights. For more help with the emotional issue of child custody modifications and to discuss what influences child custody rulings in North Carolina, contact us now.