HELPING MOTHERS NAVIGATE THE CUSTODY PROCESS
Whether a child custody dispute is wrapped up in a divorce or other type of litigation, Mothers need to be prepared. While Mothers are sometimes favored over Fathers, this old adage is rapidly disappearing. There are several factors that are considered when courts determine proper custodial arrangements. Some of the factors that courts consider when making a custodial determination are:
- Emotional ties between a parent and child;
- A parent’s ability and capacity to provide guidance and education for the child;
- The stability of each parent
- Family violence
- Each parent’s ability and demonstrated willingness to co-parent with the other;
- Sibling relationships
It is important to note that, when the term “stability” is used in reference to child custody, independent financial security is not always required.
The most common mistake we see Mothers make during the pendency of a custody case relate to unjustified withholding of a child from the child’s father. If the withholding is based on violence, drug use, or physical or sexual abuse those factors, of course, constitute justifiable withholdings, but we have also seen situations where parents (both mothers and fathers) will fabricate allegations in an attempt to justify withholding a child from the other parent. It is important to reach out to counsel early in the process to learn the best course of action.