A child custody case in Oak Park can be complex, time-consuming and emotionally charged. For many parents though it’s the focal point of an entire divorce case. No matter what happens with the division of assets, parents are most interested in remaining involved in their children’s lives. If you’re going through this, there are a number of things you should know.
Your Child’s Best Interests Trump All Else
As an experienced child custody lawyer in Oak Park will tell you, nothing is more important to the court than upholding the best interest of your child. Every decision is made based on how it impacts the child and what it means for his or her life–not for the lives of the parents. It’s crucial to have this same mindset when showing why you should have full or joint custody.
Many Factors Play a Part
Child custody agreements aren’t based on just one or two things, but on an entire list of factors, all of which have to be weighed and considered. These could include:
- Whether you or your spouse was the child’s primary caregiver.
- Where the child goes to school or meets up with friends and social groups.
- How stable each parent’s living situation is.
- How much money you earn and how much your spouse earns.
- What your child has specifically requested.
- How safe the home environment is deemed to be.
- What type of employment you and your spouse have.
For example, a spouse who has a job where he or she is constantly traveling across the United States or even the world could have a harder time winning a custody battle since this travel could upset the child’s standard school schedule or make it impossible for the parent to realistically take care of the child.
There Are Upsides and Downside to Joint Custody
Typically, experts consider joint custody to be the best possible arrangement for any child. It means that both parents are still involved and the child can have the maximum amount of love and support. However, there are also downsides. Joint custody does feel like a compromise where the child is passed back and forth constantly, which can be very upsetting to the child make scheduling difficult. The logistics of setting up a joint custody plan are immense, and it can also lead to fighting between parents over things like vacations, medical care, and sticking to schedules. Still, most courts do prefer joint custody.