As with many of the legal tenets associated with divorce, child custody laws vary from state to state. There are, however, a few basic principles that all states currently comply with when determining how and where a child of separated/divorced parents will reside and be reared.
The phrase typically associated with the determination of which parent will be granted custody of a child (or children) is the “best interests of the child.” This is what a judge seeks to find during the course of divorce proceedings. When sole custody is granted, the norm now is to pick the parent that exhibits the most suitable living situation for the child (the best scenario for a child’s mindset and tangible needs). This differs greatly than the method used up until roughly 40 years ago, where the mother was routinely, and almost automatically, granted full custody. Unless it was proven that the mother was grossly unfit to care for her child, she would usually be deemed the sole custodian.
Continue reading Understanding Modern Child Custody