Divorcing couples can have contradicting beliefs and opinions regarding their children’s welfare, potentially causing custody or parenting time disputes. Ideally, the court allows the parents to settle issues together, giving them some control over these decisions. However, some cases might have extreme conflicts, making it impossible for them to agree amicably.
In these situations, the court can interfere and finalize decisions for them. The judge is the approver for all custody-related matters. They are responsible for ensuring that the court decisions consider the child’s best interests, usually using the following factors:
- Each parent’s wishes
- The child’s wishes, depending on the circumstances
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s relationships with extended family members, such as grandparents and siblings
- Rationale and motivation of each parent
- Stability of the child’s life, including comfortable arrangements related to their home, school and community
- Mental and physical health conditions of all parties involved in the case
- Other details potentially impacting the child’s welfare, such as incidents of abuse or violence within the household
The judge could consider further case details if they affect the decision-making process. Sometimes, the court can also involve evaluators, advocates or specialists to provide insight.
Cooperating for the child’s sake
Regarding custody and parenting time, the divorcing couple can significantly influence what happens next based on their willingness to cooperate and collaborate. The court supports this behavior, especially when discussing the optimal schedule for visitation. Ultimately, the judge can adjust and finalize their decisions based on what is most appropriate, especially in complex cases that pose risks to the child’s well-being.