Rarely is a separation or divorce ever straightforward. If everything were predictable and there were no disagreements, there probably wouldn't be a reason for these problems in the first place. Yet it behoves both individuals to come to an agreement as quickly as possible if there are children involved. The fundamental issue at stake here, after all, is who's going to get custody? What needs to be considered from a broader perspective?
Who Can Apply?
While the father and mother of the child would ordinarily get primary custody following a divorce, that does not mean that others are excluded from applying. The grandparents on both sides may have a say in the matter. Anybody who has looked after the child for a significant amount of time can be heard, as well. In certain circumstances this can include somebody who has legally adopted the child who can now seek formal custody.
It's not unusual for several people to stake a claim in this regard. In these cases, considerable difficulties can arise. It can be tough for a court to decide the proper course of action.
What Is Prioritised?
In trying to unravel the situation and move forward, the court will typically prioritise the opinion of the child, so long as they are at an age where they can present an opinion, of course. They will also be very careful to do background checks on all involved to uncover any criminal convictions. If there was any evidence of abuse in the household, whether towards the adults or the children, then this is a significant red flag. In the absence of any negativity, however, the parent or guardian likely to develop a strong relationship with the youngster is likely to curry favour.
Analysis from a Counsellor
It's common for any person in the running to get custody of a child in this situation to go through counselling. As part of this procedure, experts will talk about the responsibilities and what they will have to take on, in the light of their existing commitments. It's possible that sole custody could be ruled out completely, if it is felt that joint participation would be better for the child.
Moving Out Of State
The situation could become even more complex if one of the parents or applicants is considering a move to another state. Once again, the needs of the child would be paramount and the potential relationship with the other parent or interested party following the move will be scrutinised
Getting Crucial Help
The more complicated your situation the more that you need to engage family law solicitors so that all options are investigated and the best interests of the child are maintained.