If you and your spouse are in the middle of a child custody dispute in San Antonio, it helps if you know what issues could come up. The courts weigh many factors to determine which child custody/parenting/visitation arrangement is in the best interests of your kids. Though you may feel your feelings and personal preferences should be included, in times of divorce, your children’s needs and interests take precedence.
The goal of child custody is to keep parents involved in their kids’ lives without putting children at risk or causing them to suffer from the dissolution of marriage. To achieve this, the judge uses the facts and his or her discretion to determine which custody arrangement is ideal. Here are a few issues that can affect the outcome of a child custody dispute.
Bad mouthing the other parent
In some divorces, parents are unable to get along and may resort to making false allegations to get the “upper hand” in their divorce battle. If the courts determine the accusing parent’s claims lack credibility, they could give the other parent full custody or decrease the amount of parenting or visitation time the accuser receives.
Serious medical or psychological issues
If either parent has severe health or mental issues that could compromise her or his ability to care for the kids, the courts will intervene and base the ruling on that information. Keep in mind that having mental or medical issues is not a barrier to child custody and visitation. It all depends on how those concerns would affect the best interests of the children when they are in that parent’s care.
Not all parents fight for custody because they genuinely want to see and spend more time with their kids. Some parents become spiteful and use their kids as pawns in divorce. There are also circumstances where prior knowledge of a child’s existence is a factor. In divorce, the courts consider parental involvement before and during the proceedings. If one parent is fighting for more visitation time or custody after having little to no involvement in kids’ lives before the divorce, that parent may not receive the outcome she or he wants.