Determining child custody is a major concern whenever parents divorce and may even lead to litigation. In determining custody, the judge will weigh several factors to arrive at a decision that he or she regards as the best interests of the children. Because May is Mental Health Month, we thought it would be helpful to share some insight into the court’s thinking on awarding custody when a parent is wrestling with mental illness.
In vitro fertilization is used by more and more families. Its benefits include enabling same-sex families to start families with biological children rather than adoption. It also helps male-female couples who have trouble conceiving.
Adoption typically involves parents adding a child to the family unit. This can be done as domestic adoption or international adoption. Other common examples are making a stepparent a legal parent, or even a grandparent or family member adopting the child. While less common, there is an occasion where a parent or family wishes to adopt a person over the age of 18. There are many valid reasons for doing this.
Parenting after a high conflict divorce can be a challenge, especially if there's still a lot of lingering hostility between you and your ex. For the sake of your children, it's important that you and your ex find a way forward.
Parenting plans can be as unique as the family involved. Often it reflects the needs of the children while ideally balancing the schedules of the parents. Traditionally speaking, weekly arrangements can be broken down by alternating blocks of days, a weekday at one home and weekends at the other, or perhaps there are holidays and several weeks in the summer if the parents no longer live near each other.
Divorce is stressful for every family as everyone adjusts to a new way of life. Children may have the hardest time with this period of adjustment, especially when the parents are going through a high-asset divorce.
Couples with kids traditionally wait until after the holidays to file for divorce. Unless the divorce is drawn out, this will be the last holidays as a couple, which can prompt both parents to think about how they want to celebrate the holidays with their kids in the years to come.
It is important to remember that addiction is a disease and not a matter of will or character. Nevertheless, an addicted spouse and parent can destroy a marriage and prove to be an unreliable or unstable force in raising children. Therefore, a spouse may want to request that a drug and alcohol test be administered during the divorce process or if there needs to be a modification of the parenting plan.
The courts generally lean towards some form of joint custody these days. However, nothing should be taken for granted during the divorce process, even if there is a verbal agreement. Moreover, the courts will not grant joint custody if it believes that joint custody is not in the best interests of the children. Reasons for this may be a previous history of addiction, dangerous or detrimental behavior, or threats to kidnap or illegally relocate children.
Single parents have a lot on their plate; they have to balance their careers, social lives and a healthy lifestyle. However, a parent’s largest priority is typically their children and their needs. It makes sense that most single parents dread the back-to-school advertisements every August.