One issue that you may not think about right away when filing for a divorce is child custody. Many people in North Carolina assume that the courts will give them primary custody of their kids just because they ask for it. Little do they realize that the courts use many factors to determine which parent children are better off with.
You may feel that the child custody portion of your divorce case is easy to resolve because your children are almost teenagers and they can choose who they want to live with. However, if there is a dispute between you and your partner about custody, the courts will step in and resolve it for you. Here are three major considerations in how the courts determine child custody.
Quality of parental relationships
The relationship between you and your kids is important. It is one of the most critical factors that can affect a child custody decision. The courts may order a hearing where they can interview your children and evaluate the relationship they have with you and their other parent. They may also use this hearing to learn which parent the kids would choose to stay with.
Work/parental life balance
Sometimes it is hard to know which parent is a better fit without taking into consideration the work/parental life balance. For example, parents who work all of the time may not be a good choice for primary custody because they might not have enough time to interact with their kids. On the other hand, stay-at-home parents may not be a good fit for primary custody because they may not have enough income to provide for the children financially.
The children’s best interests
The courts will ultimately base their child custody ruling on what is in your kids’ best interests. A parent who can provide a safe and nurturing living environment for their kids is an ideal choice. If either parent has a history of abuse, neglect and other negative factors that may compromise the physical and emotional health of their kids, the judge will use those concerns to disqualify them from becoming the custodial parent.