The single biggest and most emotional issue of any divorce centers around child custody and visitation rights and agreements. Parents may want to avoid a fight for the sake of their children, but more often than not, civil discussions can deteriorate quickly and result in legal battles that can be costly and protracted.
Finding the best child custody attorney that you can is essential if you want to preserve your rights as a parent. Many people assume that mothers hold all the high ground in a custody battle; however, fathers have equal rights under the law as well.
A child custody attorney in Boston can ensure a level playing field by not only ensuring a parent’s rights are protected, but that the child’s best interests are considered as well. Most courts place heavy emphasis on the best interest of the children in a divorce by placing their mental, physical, and emotional needs above all else. Several laws are currently on the books in Massachusetts that ensure this is the case.
Factors that Determine the Outcome in a Child Custody Case
An experienced child custody attorney will employ several tactics to help their client get the most favorable outcome regarding child custody.
One of the keys that can be highlighted is the relationship between a child and each of their parents. A smart attorney will look to play up the warm and loving aspects of a relationship with a child and the parent.
Family court judges will employ the best interests of the child as the standard in reaching these decisions. Best interests can include several things, but they are generally are centered around the child’s happiness, security, and well-being, including:
- Which parent can provide the more stable home environment
- What is the physical and mental health of each parent
- What will it take to maintain continuity of schooling and health services
- What is the level of extended family support
- Are there cultural and religious considerations
- Are there childcare issues
- Is there any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, drugs, or alcohol abuse
- Are there extended distances involved that make visitation a challenge
If the child is old enough to express a preference, in some cases the children will also have a say in which parent they prefer to stay with.
It is important to remember is that each child custody case is unique, and it is best to go into a family court understanding that compromise may be the best route to go if both sides are competent and loving.