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Child Custody

Child Custody Is Often a Bone of Contention Between Spouses – Can Your Child Decide Which Parent To Live With?

While going through a divorce is often challenging for the spouses, it is even more challenging for the child. What is the best interest of the child? Do they have the right to choose which parent they would like to live with? These are all questions that many parents, judges, and family lawyers grapple with daily. Although this area of custody law has not been well established, some guidelines are available for consideration. 

The main question that needs to be determined is what will be in the child’s best interest. This can include factors such as where each parent currently resides, what type of home environment each parent maintains, the parent’s financial status, and so on.

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Can A Child Make His Own Decision?

According to family law, a child can choose who they want to live with. However, they are not legally permitted to decide whom they want to live with after their parents’ divorce. Therefore, the court thoroughly considers the child’s preference while making a custodial decision, and if the child is old, then their words are taken more seriously. 

But, in the end, the court and the judges decide what’s in the best interest of that child’s future before allowing the custody of the child to anyone. Ultimately, whether or not you will get shared custody of your child will depend on many factors, and an experienced attorney from Jensen Family Law in Arizona can prove to be of great help.

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What Happens When The Parents Can’t Agree On Anything?

When the parents can’t agree on the custody of the child, it is left to a judge to decide. This is why both parents need to get legal representation. Usually, when these cases go in front of judges and juries, they consider each party’s parenting styles and home environment, amongst other factors. Then, when deciding between one and the other, judges look at these issues:

Mental State of The Parent

Do they give the child stability and peace of mind? If a child is given strength by their parents, they will not have any issues dealing with the divorce. Aside from that, the court also verifies whether the child has been exposed to violence and negative influences from any one of the parents.

Physical Home Environment

Besides emotional trauma, the home environment also affects children. They need to adapt to their parents’ transition into co-parenting, so when deciding which one or both parents should have custody, judges look at the physical environment of each person’s home. Judges also look at the financial stability of each parent and if they can financially support the child.

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Mutual Agreements Between Parents

There are a lot of cases dealing with custody disputes when neither parent can come up with an agreement on how they want to deal with the situation. In this case, judges look at what both parents have agreed upon.

Generally, the custodial parent gets primary custody. However, this is not always the case in all divorce cases. To know more about the general guidelines and to get better acquainted with them, you must seek legal advice before making any decisions. 

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