Top Factors To Consider In US Child Custody Litigation

If you’re facing a divorce and you legally share a child or children with your spouse, you may already be dealing with a variety of legal issues. Many times, the process of divorce brings along with it questions regarding property division, financial responsibility and future asset obligations; however, one of the most important and difficult issues to deal with is that of child custody after a marriage has been dissolved. Before you begin the process of divorce with children involved, here are some factors to consider:

1.) Financial Means

Raising a child with two parents can be difficult enough, but when that responsibility falls on one parent or the other individually, the stress can be magnified. When considering the amount of custody you would like or can handle, it’s important to consider the income-to-expenditure ratio you and your spouse can offer in order to provide the best life for your child or children. If you feel that you may not be able to provide completely for your child or children as a single parent, you may need to consider shared custody and child support options in the future.

2.) Personal Responsibility

Along with your financial means, you should also consider the personal and social obligations that come along with child custody arrangements and parenting. Are you working late into the night each workday? Is your spouse able to offer adequate family time for your child? You may want to write out a schedule of your typical week in order to get a good, overall picture of exactly how much time you and your spouse will be able to devote to your parenting obligations. This can be done using a chart or a software program, and it may help you and your spouse to determine exactly how much custody each parent can handle versus how much each parent may be willing to give up.

3.) Family Life

While it goes without saying, being a parent means being able to raise a child in a mature, loving household. Unfortunately, you may be seeking a divorce because their spouse is not able to provide a warm, loving household, or they may have trouble with anger, drinking, drugs or other potential hazards. In some cases, abuse and neglect may even be taking place, and if these are the reasons for your divorce or custody concerns, then you need to factor in your spouse’s actions and attitudes when seeking custody arrangements. If needed, you may find yourself involving an attorney, the Department of Social Services and law enforcement agencies in making your custody decisions and arrangements.

4.) Seek Out an Attorney

If you find that you are having a difficult time deciding upon child custody arrangements, then you will want to seek out the best divorce attorney for you. A divorce lawyer can assist you with all facets of child custody, including the percentage of custody you should be seeking, visitation arrangements and more.  Consult the best divorce attorney for you and your location, such as an Orlando divorce lawyer if you live in the greater Orlando area; a local attorney will be aware of any specific jurisdictional procedures.

When you work with a divorce attorney, you can also receive expert advice regarding child support payments, alimony payments and visitation rights during shared custody. Additionally,  can represent you in court during your divorce proceedings, allowing you to concentrate on taking care of your child or children. To find such attorneys, you may want to use the Internet, or you can search through your local phonebook.

Molly Henshaw is a freelance writer living in the DC metro area. She is also a contributing author for the divorce team of Katz & Phillips. Consulting a third party professional is essential when dealing with the divorce process!