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What are the elements of a child custody decision?

There are many aspects of a divorce that make it a stressful time for all involved. However, when children enter the picture, especially if the matter of custody is involved, the situation can become even more stressful. Parents may find themselves wondering what exactly is figured into the equation when a child custody decision. There are actually several things that are considered.

The decision of child custody can be in the hands of several different individuals depending on the process of the divorce. If parents are settling the matter outside of court, the decision is largely up to the parents in question. This process can also be helped along with the assistance of attorneys, mediators or counselors. If a decision is not reached or if the divorce does go to court, the process becomes different.

The question of child custody in a court largely boils down to the best interests of the child. This phrase encompasses many different factors including the schooling of the child, religious concerns and more. The "primary caretaker" of the child may come into play as well. The primary caretaker is the parent that the child has developed a strong bond with during his or her developmental years. If the child is old enough, his or her input may also be included in the ultimate decision.

The matter of child custody and divorce is certainly not an easy one. With all the financial and emotional stresses of a divorce, including children in the equation can make the entire situation very difficult. In this types of experiences, the assistance of an experienced attorney can be helpful in keeping a level head and moving forward with as much confidence as possible.

Source: findlaw.com, "Deciding Who Gets Custody FAQs," Accessed on Jan. 2, 2015

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