One of the more complicated elements in a divorce is child custody. As pointed out on the website of the Marshall Taylor Law Firm, both parents would generally want to sustain a meaningful relationship with their children, an endeavor to be given custody of them after a divorce. Obviously, it would not be physically possible to have two parents have their children all the time so a compromise is often reached where one parent has physical custody (to whom depends on the circumstances) and the other parent has prescribed visitation rights.

The judge is the final authority on who gets what in child custody cases, and in general this is decided on what the statutes say and past experience has determined to be most beneficial for the children. In North Carolina, for instance, the statute (N.C.G.S.A. § 50-13.2(a)) emphasizes the “will best promote the interest and welfare of the child.” The statute does not specify all the factors that may impugn on the ruling, but it does provide some guidance when it comes to issues involving domestic violence, the ability of the parent to provide a child with a stable home environment, and the child’s extant living arrangements. The law does not favor one gender over another for child custody.

Because of the way the statute is worded, it provides a lot of leeway for the judge to decide just what that would entail. This can both be a good thing and a bad thing when one considers that judges are humans and apt to be influenced by their own personal life experiences and preferences. For example, there is an interesting Harvard University study that suggests judges who have daughters are more likely to award physical custody of children to the female parent.

When considering divorce, you need to make sure that your child’s best interests are safeguarded despite any biases that the judge may entertain. An experienced and persuasive divorce lawyer would be an invaluable ally in this endeavor.


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