Child custody -- if it is something that the two spouses can't agree on -- will almost certainly be the most contentious and upsetting matter involved in a divorce. Thankfully most splitting spouses are able to agree to some form of joint custody which allows each spouse to have some time with their children and, maybe most importantly, affords the child to have a consistent relationship with each of his or her parents.
With that said, there are still plenty of cases where custody is disputed between two splitting spouses. This can lead to a bitter and drawn-out legal battle, and the spouses need to be prepared for what this will entail. The consequences of losing out on custody are massive, and not just for the spouse who doesn't get custody. Both spouses should always be thinking about the best interests of the child, because that's certainly what the court will be thinking about.
Along the lines of a judge's decision, this is another reason why reaching an agreement together on child custody is preferred. You have more control over what the custody stipulations are, and it can be helpful for all parties involved. A judge's blanket ruling on child custody may not be suitable for anyone.
Even after custody is decided, there can be issues that arise. Maybe the parents aren't holding up their end of the bargain. Maybe one of the parents is moving out of the state and needs modifications to the custody arrangement. Maybe the loss of a job impacts one of the parents' ability to pay child support or to adequately take care of the child. These issues need to be delicately -- and appropriately -- handled.
With any child custody matter, legal help is absolutely necessary for the parents. At the Law Office of Kristen L. Campbell, we have the experience to help you with these delicate custody matters.