Dissolving your union with your spouse can be challenging, especially if you have shared assets. However, the entire process becomes more complicated when there are children involved. In typical cases, both spouses want to have custody over the children. If you and your spouse are not on amicable terms, it becomes exceptionally complicated to come to an agreement on how to share custody; more so if both spouses want full custody. At this juncture, you will need a family lawyer to present your case in court and have a judge come up with appropriate parenting orders. This piece delves into what parenting orders are, as well as the factors the court will take into consideration when determining them for your individual case.
What are parenting orders?
Parenting orders, generally speaking, refer to the court's determination of what type of custody will be most beneficial to the kids involved. While the best-case scenario is to have both parents share the responsibilities equally, there are some scenarios in which this may be impossible. As a result, the court will analyse the case and try to come to the best conclusion on who the kids will primarily live with, as well as which parenting duties will be shared.
What factors are considered when determining parenting orders?
There is a myriad of things that the court will take into account before parenting orders are established. Although this is not an extensive list, it does highlight a few of the crucial considerations:
- Any history of abuse: Any history of emotional or physical abuse perpetrated by either parent will have a hand in determining who gets the kids. The children will also be assessed for any signs that they have experienced neglect, psychological abuse or family violence.
- Current parental responsibilities: The judge will also take into account what responsibilities have been and are currently being carried out by either parent. For instance, the court will want to know who the children have been living with after the separation, and will ask the children (if they are of reasonable age) what their preference is. The court will also inquire about who is currently providing financial support and which parent will be more capable, in the long term, of providing for the kids. Lastly, the parent that has been making the majority of the decisions that pertain to the children's lives will also be taken into consideration as primary caregiver.