While a divorce will determine and finalize child support and child custody matters, during the process of a divorce, you may wonder what your custody rights are. The laws that used to favor giving custody only to the mother are long gone, and now courts typically award custody to both parents to ensure the child has relationships with both. There are certain actions you can take during your divorce to ensure that you retain your custody rights both during and after your divorce.
The Best Interests of the Child
The main goal of the court will be to determine what is in the best interests of the child. This is a legal doctrine that courts use as a foundation to base their decisions regarding child custody matters. The court will examine each parent’s emotional, mental and physical health, their relationship with their child, their ability and willingness to pay for the child’s basic economic needs (clothes, medical care and insurance, food, school, activities, etc.) and the lifestyle of each parent. The court will have the authority to determine legal custody and physical custody, which are two different types of custody. Legal custody will allow a parent to have decision-making authority with respect to the child, and physical custody determines the amount of time each child will have with each parent. Courts will use the best interest of the child to determine both the legal and physical custody of the child.
Ways to Ensure You Receive Custody
If you are trying to gain as much custody as possible of your child, there are some actions you should take to ensure that a court will be able to easily see and determine that it is in the best interest of the child to remain in your custody, at least jointly.
- You take care of your child in all ways including emotionally, physically, and financially.
- Your own behavior exemplifies emotional, physical, and financial health
- Your behavior is not destructive, and you do not have destructive habits such as drinking or smoking.
- You do not have social media accounts with inappropriate images or content.
- You have a healthy emotional bond with your child.
- You have a history of supporting the other parent’s rights with your child.
- You prioritize your child and attempt to ensure minimal changes and disruption to your child’s life (moving often, changing schools, etc.)
- Your child has a well-rounded quality of life with you both emotionally, academically, and physically.
- There is no evidence of destructive, abusive, negligent or malicious behavior by you against your child, the other parent, or other children.
Courts will always look to see if you are creating an environment that is the best interest of your child. It is important to note that if you are ever in danger, or your children are in danger, and you need to leave the marital home due to abuse, you should make sure to alert law enforcement and visit with an attorney as soon as possible in order to avoid being accused of kidnapping or removing the children from the other parent.
Let Us Help You Today
If you want to ensure that you receive the amount of custody of your child, contact an experienced Las Vegas family attorney at Ghandi Deeter Blackham Law Offices. We can answer all of your child custody and divorce questions, and help you with your next steps. Visit with one of our attorneys at 410-535-5500 today for your free consultation.