Tips to Help You Understand How Courts Determine Custody During a Divorce

21 April 2017
 Categories: Law, Articles


When a married couple decides to divorce and are both fighting over custody rights of the children, the decision may end up being left to the judge handling the case. If you are in the midst of a divorce and really want custody of your children, because their other parent is not fit or safe for them to be around, you will need to be prepared for a battle. Here are several things you should understand about divorces and custody rights of the children involved.

The Judge Will Rule on the Best Interests of the Children

There are many couples that get divorced who agree on who will have primary custody of the kids and how visitation will work. When a couple is agreeable and reaches a decision together, the judge will typically agree to it if it seems fair and reasonable, and if it appears to be in the best interests of the children involve.

The best interests of the children is what judges are primarily concerned with. After all, the children of a divorce are not at fault for the divorce; they are victims of it. Judges want to do all they can to ensure that the kids are harmed in the least possible ways, and they want to make sure the kids will be taken care of physically and emotionally.

If a couple is not able to agree on how to divide custody, the judge will have to determine what to do, and he or she will do this by examining the evidence involved. The goal is to give custody to the parent that seems to be the most fit parent for the job. This is not always an easy job for a judge to do, and you might have a better chance getting the judge to give you custody of the kids if you can prove that it is in the best interest of your children to live with you.

Ways to Prove You Should Have Custody

It's not always easy to prove that you are the best parent to raise the kids, which is why many custody cases are settled by proving the other parent is not fit to have custody of the kids. To do this, you will need clear, strong evidence that suggests that the children would not be safe, taken care of properly, or supported as they should be if they were with their other parent. Here are some potential reasons a court may agree with you and award you custody of your children:

1. The other parent is mentally ill and unstable—If your spouse has mental issues and does not have them under control, you might be able to use this factor to prove your case. You may need to supply medical records that prove this, or you might even want to request that your spouse undergo a mental examination to see what the results are.

2. The other parent has an alcohol or drug addiction—If your spouse has struggled with any type of alcohol or drug addiction, this can be a huge factor in winning a custody case, especially if he or she has been in trouble with the law due to the addiction.

3. The parent is abusive—Proving that a person is abusive is not always easy, unless you have police reports, pictures of bruises, and other types of evidence; however, a judge will typically award custody to the other parent if one is abusive.

4. The living situation of the other parent is less than desirable—There is also a chance you could use your spouse's living situation as a reason to request full custody of your kids. This could be due to him or her not really having a home to live in, or it could be due to the nature of the people living in the home.

Fighting for custody of kids is not an easy battle for spouses, and it can also be hard on the children involved. If you need help with your case, contact a divorce attorney in your city.