I really could not come up with a better title for writing about Lawyers.com Blog Online's Getting a Divorce? Focus on Your Kids First
At its core, a custody dispute attempts to answer the question, "What custody arrangements will best serve the interests of the child?" This requires a case-by-case examination of the child's needs and the advantages presented by those seeking custody.
Most custody disputes involve a mother and father during or after a divorce. Others, like the custody case for Michael Jackson's children, involve a third party (usually a relative) who is seeking custody after a parent dies or is incapacitated. The courts start with a presumption that parents are in the best position to look out for the welfare of their own child. This presumption can be overcome by establishing that a parent is not fit or able to best care for the child. In making these determinations, the courts look to various factors, established by state statute or case law.
To assure that a custody dispute does not become a custody battle, it is best if the parties can reach an amicable agreement, by employing an objective review of the same factors.The first question to ask when thinking about a custody case: why are you doing this? Is changing custody best for the child or best for yourself?