Once parents have decided that a divorce is the best option for their family, then it is up to them and possibly others to settle who will provide primary care for any children involved. Often, it is up to a judge to make the determination concerning child custodyarrangements. One such judge has recently written an article for a paper in her area that gives an insight into what factors may be used to decide this issue. Though the judge is not located in Virginia, families in every state can be affected by a family breakup and they may find the information useful.
As many people are probably aware, there are different custody scenarios. One such type is a joint or shared custody arrangement. In this case parents share the duties as equally as possible. Neither parent has more influence than the other and they usually make decisions together as much as possible. Sole custody means the child lives primarily with one parent and is allowed time with the other parent as an agreement would set forth.
This judge has stated that there should be no intention on the part of the court to show a preference to either mothers or fathers, but only to determine which parent may provide the most positive home setting for the child. It is the desire of a judge to see both parents be a constant and engaged part of the child's life. Many factors do go into the decision as to which setting would be able to provide for the best interests of the child.
The judge also set forth conditions that may affect a decision for custody. The behavior and intentions of both parents are taken into consideration before custody of the child is ordered. Virginia readers considering divorce that have questions about child custody and related concerns can take comfort in knowing they do not have to face these important decisions alone.
Source: Eastern Arizona Courier, "From the Bench: A judge's child custody decisions," Monica Stauffer, Aug. 7, 2013