When it comes to a parenting agreement, the overriding focus in any custody case should be on a solution that’s in the child’s best interest. But what does that actually mean? And how can you prevent the anger or resentment of divorce from playing a role in important custody decisions?
Analyzing the Child’s Best Interests in Custody Cases
In a perfect world, a child should be able to maintain a close and loving relationship with both parents after a divorce, but that can be challenging when resolving a child custody dispute. It’s important to remember that the choices made (or the decisions a judge makes for you) will affect your child’s development and relationship with you in crucial ways for years to come.
Ultimately, you’ve succeeded if all custody and visitation decisions foster and encourage the child’s happiness, security, mental health, and emotional development into young adulthood. Let’s break that down into some specifics.
Common Factors Analyzed in Most Parenting Agreements
- The child’s wishes (if old enough to capably express a reasonable preference)
- The parents’ mental and physical health
- Any special needs a child may have and how each parent meets those needs
- Cultural and/or religious considerations
- Continuation of a stable home environment
- Other children whose custody is relevant to this child’s parenting arrangement
- Support and opportunity for interaction with extended family members
- Interrelationships with other household members
- Adjustments to school, lifestyle, and community
- The age and sex of the child
- Whether there’s evidence of domestic violence, excessive discipline, or parental drug, alcohol, or child abuse in the home
Remember, the court system takes a holistic approach with custody agreements, with the child’s overall safety and happiness being the prime concern.
Seek Help from a Private Investigator if Concerns Arise
Even though you may know what’s in the best interest of your child, the court has the final say. If you have suspicions about the safety of your child in your partner’s care or other specific concerns, a private investigator can help you get the evidence you need to reach the best-possible parenting agreement. Contact She Spies Private Eye today for a consultation.