"Who Gets the Children in a Divorce?"
First, avoid thinking of divorce and child custody proceedings as contests to be won. Determining custody and parenting time is a sensitive process designed to protect the interests of the children. Judges consider what would be in the best interests of the child when making their decisions, which means they will consider factors such as the following:
- Which parent is more involved in the day-to-day aspects of their children’s lives
- The age of the children
- Where each parent lives, if not together
- How stable each parent and household is
- What the child wants, if age-appropriate
Preparation Is Key
In any family law case, and particularly in custody cases, preparation is key. If you are not prepared, the custody case may not go well for you. By retaining Miller Law Group, you get the support of an entire group of attorneys, paralegals and professional staff with nearly 100 years of collective experience. You won’t ever be left in the dark or underprepared.
Things you can do to be prepared:
- Gather income tax returns, bank statements, and other financial records
This is perhaps the single most important document used by the court!
- Complete the child support guidelines worksheet
Divorce Worksheet: In a divorce, who gets the children? Click here.
Why Are You Seeking Custody?
Family court judges are discerning enough to determine whether you are seeking custody of your children simply as a way to get child support from the other parent, or for some other reason than wanting to spend time with and take care of your children. If you appear to be more concerned about what you can get out of the situation and less about spending time with your children, the court will likely notice that. It won’t go well from there.
Visitation vs. Parenting Plan
Even if you're not granted custody, non-custodial spouses may ask for visitation; however, it is important to avoid calling it that. Judges know a good parent does not just want to visit his or her child. You visit in the hospital. A good parent wants to spend time with his or her children. That is why you should call it parenting time as part of the parenting plan.
When working out a parenting plan, the primary concern should be the best interests of the children. Be reasonable. Be open to the other side’s concerns. In many cases, both parents love their children and want to spend time with them. Don’t treat a custody case as a contest, but rather, as a process of deciding what arrangement most benefits your children.