Divorce is usually not a pleasant situation for either side, and it can be even more tense if there are children involved. Custody battles can be extremely emotional and difficult to win (if there is such a thing). Certain factors greatly influence the court’s decision regarding custody.
The kid(s) best interest
The court system believes that it has a duty to look out for what is best for the well being of children when it comes to decision of custody. In plain terms; it is the children that matter during a relationship and in a divorce. Once that child has been conceived, their health and well being trumps everything else. Those young people cannot fend for themselves nor are they responsible for the breakdown of a marriage. To grow and develop properly, children need to live in a loving and nurturing environment. Courts look into the lifestyle of each parent and must decide which one has the best interest of their children at heart. Sometimes parents are granted shared custody, where the child spends equal time with both parents. This is ideal because the child still gets to benefit equally from both parents.
Financial well being
The fact is raising children is not a cheap venture. Parents must be able and willing to provide adequate food, shelter, medical care and education. This does not always mean that the parent with the most money will be awarded custody of the children. What this means is that the parent that can provide all of these necessities for their children on a continuous basis, is awarded custody. Programs exist for parents that are struggling with financial issues. Again, it goes back to what is in the best interest of the children. Finances must be considered in a custody case, but are not the sole deciding factor.
Safety in the home
A parent can have all the money and resources in the world, but if their home is not a safe place for the children, then they will not be awarded custody. Safety is not just about having a clean home, it also consists of appropriate people and situations. An example: spotless home, in good condition with known drug users coming and going all hours of the day and night. This is an obvious unsafe environment for children. A parent that has numerous “dates” over several times a week is a very questionable lifestyle. Adults have the right to live any way they want to, unless they have young children.
Divorce is not easy on two people, but they are adults and can manage to pick up the pieces and move on. Children do not have the luxury of forgetting about it and moving on when their parents get divorced. The fact is, the adults do not matter in family court. The health and well being of the children are the only priority and that is what must be considered when deciding custody arrangements.