DADI Blog

Child Custody and Visitation

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

Child custody is an integral support of the divorce.  A judge will make the final decision to spare children from any feelings of guilt that would be associated with choosing one parent over another.  Divorce is traumatic enough for children without the added burden of bickering between parents about custody and visitation.
 
There are some special items that are taken under consideration when the courts award child custody.  The court will consider the wishes of the child if he or she is of an age that they are able to make a decision.  Also considering the care each parent can give to the child.  Other criteria
are the willingness of the parent to provide acceptable visitation rights to the child.

The child’s mental and physical welfare will be the primary concern of the courts in awarding custody.  The court could award someone other than the natural parent custody of the child if they think it is in the child’s best interest to be with that person.

If there has been any report of physical or sexual abuse in the history of the child, the judge will not give custody to the person who was the abuser.  Custody can be assigned to both parents jointly; to one parent only, or to someone the child has been living with.  Always the child’s welfare would be of first concern in the decision.  The sex of the parent will not be a factor in the decision of the court as to who receives custody.

Both parents should if possible, jointly agree visitation on.  It should be generous and flexible.  It is in the best interest of the child for both parents to prepare a schedule and agree on what is reasonable visitation.  It’s important to remain flexible.  Hopefully, the relationship between the former spouses would take second place between what is best for the child.  A court could step in and set the visitation if that is being used as a tool by one parent or another for vindictive or manipulative purposes.

Flexibility is important for children involved in school and sports activities.  If the parent with visitation rights will be flexible and the custodial parent is willing to arrange schedules to accommodate them, it will be helpful and in the best interest of the child.

The break up of their family is already a source of trauma to a child.  It isn’t a matter of age, it affects all ages, even grown children who will not be affected by visitation or custody rights as well as grandparents and extended family.  It’s in the child’s best interest for visitation rights to be agreed on and mutually satisfactory to both parents.

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