Divorce is never easy, but it can become much more complicated with children. When parents divorce, they have to create an arrangement with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. They must agree to shared custody or a visitation plan, on top of the other aspects of divorce.

When parents cannot reach an agreement, the case may go to family court. In some cases, it is better to avoid court and in other situations, the judge’s ruling may be the fairest way to determine custody.

What does the court take into consideration?

The family court judge will consider many factors. The judge usually makes his or her determination based on the best interest of the child. These elements help determine what is in the child’s best interest:

  • Which parent is the primary caretaker?
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Parent availability/work schedules
  • Parents willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and both of their parents

Custody hearings can be unique, and the judge will consider each case on an individualized basis. If the parents have more than one child together, the court often places all of the children on the same custody schedule.

Can I get custody without an attorney?

Parents do not need to have an attorney in order to seek or receive custody of their children. However, parents may be able to avoid family court with the guidance of legal counsel. If the case does go to court, parents can rely on their lawyers to help them through the process.

Although parents might be able to weather a child custody case without representation, those who seek guidance may have a better experience. No matter the situation, an attorney always advocates for their client and ensures the best possible representation based on the individual case.