How Are Child Custody Disputes Resolved

When parents get a divorce, there is almost always some degree or another of dispute involved as it regards the custody of the children. In a divorce, each parent is often looking after their own interests just as much, if not more, than they are looking after the interests of their children. For this reason, when parents cannot work out a child custody arrangement between themselves, it is up to the court to resolve the child custody dispute.

How the court will resolve the child custody dispute depends on several things. Overall, the court is usually supposed to be guided by the idea that the child custody dispute should be resolved in the “best interests” of the child. As a part of this process, the court will probably consider a great many factors, such as the living conditions of each of the parents, their lifestyles, the emotional stability of the parents, the emotional bonds that have formed between the child and each of the parents, and other relationship-related issues. The court will also consider whether either of the parents will present a danger to the child. Certainly, if a parent has been convicted of child abuse or endangerment, it is not likely at all for that parent to be granted custody. In fact, many states have specific laws that prevent a parent who has been convicted of such a crime from being granted custody. If a child is old enough, the court may also consider the child’s wishes when considering a child custody dispute.

Often, a child custody dispute will be resolved based on much simpler factors. For example, it is often the case that, after hearing the arguments in the child custody dispute, that the court will award permanent custody to whichever parent has been in physical custody of the child up until the point of the child custody dispute. This tends to happen especially when the child is doing well, as the judge very often will wish to cause as little disruption to the child as is possible in the child custody dispute resolution process.

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