Individual circumstances need to be weighed in custody decisions

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, August 30, 2012.

When it comes to figuring out child custody arrangements, it’s important to realize that there is not a one size fits all approach. Rather, each situation is truly unique and judges and attorneys need to take into account what would be in the best interest of the child, not necessarily the best interests of the parents.

This is why many push back against the idea of statutory policies mandating equal parenting time. Of course this doesn’t mean one parent should have sole custody and be calling all of the shots, but rather that the family dynamics are taking into consideration when creating a parenting plan.

For example, maybe it makes the most sense for the child to live with their dad during the school year and alternate weekends with mom. Or maybe it’s best to have the child live with mom, but go to dad’s every other weekend and on Wednesdays for dinner. This would clearly allow both parents to have active roles in their child’s life, but is not an exactly down the middle 50/50 split.

Outside of creating a plan that works best for everyone involved, when talking about how much visitation time each parent should be granted, if there have been issues related to domestic violence or drug or alcohol abuse, these factors should also be taken into consideration.

In the end, keep in mind that what may work for one divorced family, doesn’t always necessarily work for another. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who will treat each child custody case like the unique situation that it is.

Source: Huffington Post, “Why Equal Child Custody Should Not Be Presumed,” Henry Gornbein, Aug. 29, 2012

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