Monday, October 31, 2016

What a Judge Will Consider When Deciding Parental Responsibility

In a divorce it is always best for parents to put their differences  
aside and make decisions in the best interest of their children. 
The lack of healthy co-parenting puts children at risk mentally
and emotionally. They are far more likely not to reach their
fullest potential, have substance abuse issues and even
commit criminal acts. If parents are unable to reach a mutual agreement on parental responsibility, a judge can step in and make the decisions for you. Although both parents may think they are the better parent, a judge will not make this distinction. The exception to this is if one parent makes seriously poor life choices such as the use of drugs, alcohol, incarceration or domestic abuse. The court may still believe contact with both parents is in the best interest of the child regardless of these factors and may order supervised visitation.  Each parent will have an attorney to argue who is the better parent. A private investigator is often times hired to gather evidence against the other parent to prove they would be unfit to participate in co-parenting. A judge’s decision will be based on laws and his opinion of what is in the best interest of your children without considering the individual dynamics of the children.  If co-parenting decisions cannot be reached the court will likely consider the following factors when deciding on parental responsibility: 

  • Which parent is more likely to allow for frequent and continuing contact with the other parent.
  • Which parent has the ability to provide a more stable home environment.
  • Which parent has the ability to provide the essentials of food, clothing and medical care.
  • The moral fitness of the parents.
  • Job security of the parents.
  • The traveling requirements of the jobs of the parents.
  • The amount of time the child has been in a stable home environment.
  • The emotional bond between the child and each parent.
  • The proposed home of each parent after the divorce.
  • The child's history of home, school, and community.
  • The extent of the parents knowledge of the child's schedule, friends, medical, school, likes and dislikes.
  • The parenting tasks involving the child of each parent.
  • The amount of parenting task that would have to be performed by a third party with both parents.
  • The ability of each parent to provide a consistent schedule for the child.
  • Any illegal activity each parent may be involved including domestic abuse and child neglect.
Sue Gent, President
Prodigy Investigative Group, Inc.
(772)634-6040  *  (954)866-3338

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