Divorce is rarely an easy process to finalize, especially when there is a lot of animosity between the parties involved. However, the conflict often associated with divorce can be seen even in non-marital relationships, especially when children are involved. Many of these individuals will find themselves facing contentious child custody and visitation issues, the outcome of which may reshape their contact and relationship with their children. In other words, there is a lot at stake when dealing with these matters.
Couples that are unable to resolve child custody and visitation disputes on their own must litigate the matter in front of a family law judge. The judge will make a determination based on what they believe is in the child's best interests. To make this determination, a judge will consider a number of factors. The wishes of the child, if they are old enough, may play a critical role. Other considerations include any school and community adjustments that may affect the child, the relationship the child has with each parent, and the presence of any domestic violence or substance abuse issues on the part of the parents.
These are not the only factors a judge will look at, however. They will also think about the need for a stable home environment, as well as the location and relationships that the child has with any siblings. Religious considerations will also be taken into account.
As you can see, there is a lot for a judge to think about when making a child custody or visitation determination. This means that these matters leave a lot of room for legal argument. For this reason, those embroiled in family law matters may want to consider acquiring legal assistance from a skilled advocate who will fight for them and their children.