As you file for divorce, there are many matters to consider. You might think about how you will make ends meet once you are on your own. And you may wonder whether you will be able to keep your home.
Meanwhile, child custody could be difficult to determine. You might think your kids will be better off if you have sole custody. But do you know what the court takes into consideration?
Make decisions based on what your children need
If you and your spouse are unable to agree on a child custody arrangement, a court may make a determination based on what they believe to be the best interests of your children.
Among other factors related to your child’s safety and wellbeing, considerations might include:
- Relationships among siblings
- Your physical and mental capability to parent
- Children’s age and gender
- Your children’s need for stability
- Relationships with extended family members
- Wishes of the children
Before you fight for sole custody, you might also consider how important your children’s relationship with their other parent is.
Do children really need involvement with both parents?
Except in cases where you believe your children are unsafe with their other parent, such as in circumstances of domestic abuse, continued relationships with both of their parents might truly be best for your children.
According to the Department of Children & Family Services, children raised in a single parent family are at an increased risk for:
- Using drugs
- Decreased self esteem
- Suicide attempts
- Dropping out of school
Although you might not get along with your soon-to-be ex, his or her relationship with your children might be vital to their health, growth and development. Despite your disagreements, your children may have much to gain from continued attachment to each of you, as you teach and support them in your own ways.