Splitting up time with children when a marriage ends is one of the most unpleasant prospects of a divorce. The emotional factors involved may make it nearly impossible to imagine.
When a couple cannot agree on how to handle children post-divorce, a judge will step in to make the final decision. Delve into some of the factors a judge may consider when deciding what happens to children when parents divorce.
Best interests of the children
The court always looks at what is best for the children. In doing this, a judge will consider things such as:
- Emotional connection with parents
- Physical time spent with each
- The ages of the children
- The stability of each parent
- The home each parent establishes
The judge is not willing to put children in a dangerous situation. As such, if a parent is not capable of handling the responsibility of parenting, and the other parent has proof, it is wise to present it as part of the case. Courts prefer to split legal custody of children equally, but not necessarily physical custody. A judge decides this aspect according to the children’s needs and each parent’s ability to provide them.
Parents ability to cooperate
Parents who fight and cannot communicate in any fashion are not modeling good behavior for their children. If one parent especially is more prone to negative comments and actions, the judge may prefer children to spend the majority of their time with the other. When one spouse does not appear capable of fostering a good relationship between the children and the other parent, the judge may also place them in the care of the more capable parent.
It is always favorable to all parties, especially the children if the parents agree on how to split visitation and custody.