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The Primary Factor Considered in a Child Custody Case

Parents, who decide to part ways after failing to find solutions that will mend the tear in their relationship, need to address vital divorce-related issues before finally going separate ways. One of these issues is child custody, a complicated issue that divorcing parents need to settle. Child custody is the legal decision on who ought to have full guardianship of the child and what specific responsibilities each parent will have over their child.

 There is no federal law that mandates US states on how the case of child custody ought to be decided, thus, some states differ on how they determine the case. Despite the differences though, there is one constant factor which every state considers and prioritizes – the child’s best interest. For children below 18 years old, infants and the unborn, as well as individuals who are mentally incompetent, the court usually appoints a guardian ad litem to represent them. This special guardianship lasts only during the duration of the legal proceedings (such as divorce, cases of child neglect and / or abuse, contested inheritance and paternity suits). The guardian ad litem is usually a lawyer; the court, though, may decide to appoint a social worker to represent the child and inform the court of his or her needs and interests.

Other factors the court may consider when determining the best custodian for the child may include any of the following:

–          the capability of the parent to address the child’s medical and educational needs and the parent’s understanding of these needs, his or her emotional state, physical limitations and work schedules;

–          the child’s relationship with his or her parents;

–          the parent’s ability to meet the emotional needs of the child;

–          the fitness and financial stability of the parents;

–          the proximity of the parents’ homes;

–          the amount and quality of time spent by the parent with the child before the separation

There are also different types of custody that the court may decide to award: legal custody, joint legal custody, physical custody and sole custody. Unless one parent is deemed by the court as unfit to act as custodial parent, custody is usually awarded to both parents who would share equal time with their child / children (granting that they live near each other) and who can decide with regard to their child / children’s future.

Consulting with a highly-qualified family lawyer would enable you understand greatly the issues regarding child custody. He or she will also be able to help you realize what is really best for your child.


Mediated Divorce in Raleigh

Having a mediated divorce lawyer may be a new concept to many people; not everyone is comfortable of having another person negotiate for them. However, this is not the real reason why there is a mediator for the divorce. As it turns out there are a lot of advantages to having a mediated divorce than going to court. Here are some myths about mediated divorce and the truth behind it.

  1. Mediation is for the weak – in a mediated divorce, both spouses have the right to speak and stand up for themselves. Even with a lawyer present, both spouses can voice out their terms and conditions. This often leads to self confidence after the divorce as well as agreements they can keep up. There is no dominant party in mediation, and the mediator does not allow any dominating behavior.
  2. Lawyers are not needed in mediation – Although they are not required, it would be more helpful and beneficial to have a divorce lawyer in the proceedings. Not only can they guide the spouses through the process, they can also provide information, insights, and important ideas beneficial for their clients. A lot of effort is necessary for information gathering as well as decision making, and having the right divorce lawyers can lighten up the load. However, it is always safe to find a lawyer who is pro-mediation (as it is still a new approach to divorce), and even experienced lawyers has little to no background to divorce mediation.
  3. Mediation is always better than going to court – Mediation works for a lot of divorce couples, but it is not always applicable for all divorce cases. Because the mediator does not have the authority to assert his or her opinion on the spouses, they stay neutral in the negotiations between spouses. Instances where domestic violence is present, or when spouses prefer to drive a legal point, then the compromise that a mediated divorce can offer may not be for them.

Divorce is a bitter experience, and going to court can make it even more painful – they can take longer to be settled and could cost more money. Choosing the best mediated divorce lawyer in Raleigh could be the best option for most as it is a cheaper, quicker and less stressful way to end the relationship.