Primary custody during divorce usually goes to the primary caregiver. This is the person who has taken care of the children the most. The one who makes sure the kids get medical care when needed, who cooks their meals, washes clothes, makes sure they get in bed early to get up for school the next day, and so on. If the parents reach an agreement on custody out of court then the judge does not have to determine who gets primary custody during divorce. Parents should always consider the children first and what is best for them. Divorce is a difficult process for the entire family but the kids usually do not understand why Mom and Dad no longer want to be together. They often internalize the process and think they are the cause. Kids should be reassured that the breakup has nothing to do with them. "Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous; but I said, 'Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it'" (Jeremiah 10:19).
Split custody is not uncommon when there is more than one child. However, most partners do not want to split up the children. Siblings might have greater difficulties when separated. If the kids are old enough to decide which parent they want to live with then the court will consider their request. Primary custody during divorce is often temporary until the divorce is final. So the primary caregiver may have all of the kids until the proceedings are finalized. If the judge does consider splitting up siblings there needs to be legitimate reasons and the best interest of the children is the deciding factor.
Joint custody is another option when a couple decides to part. One adult has the kids for half the year and the other adult has the kids for the other half of the year. Couples must live fairly close to each other so that children do not have to change schools. This would interrupt their lives too much and could cause a lot of stress. If the adults cannot agree on joint issues then the primary custody during divorce will go to the parent who has taken the responsibility for the ongoing care of the kids. This is largely because of the emotional bond that children have with the adult who is always there for them.
Other factors to consider with primary custody during divorce are the mental and physical health of the two adults, the age and sex of the child, if there are excessive issues with discipline or emotional abuse, and if either parent has an alcohol or drug problem. The primary caregiver must be responsible and not be guilty of using excessive discipline or have caused physical harm to the children. Little children need discipline but not when physical or emotional abuse is involved. Also, if there is an emotional or physical handicap with any of the kids then the court will have to determine who best can take care of the handicapped child.
Visitation rights can be set for the adult who does not have primary custody during divorce. The couple can decide together or the judge will set visitation. Visitation has to be determined around the schedule of the minors. If the kids are in school then visitation will normally be on weekends and holidays. Summer vacation would be alright as long as the children do not have activities or summer school. If they do, then visitation will need to be worked around their schedule. Some activities to consider are enrollment in ballet or sports, swimming lessons, vacation Bible school, or times set aside for staying with grandparents. Holidays may need to be split up where the minors are with each parent every other year.
Couples who are divorcing should make it a main goal to communicate civilly for the minor's sake. This will help alleviate any misunderstandings about primary custody during divorce. Some couples play games with each other on child support and visitation in order to hurt each other. This sort of behavior will not look good in court. One of the worse things a parent can do is use a child in this way. This shows that the parent does not have the best interest of the children in mind. In addition, this shows a great deal of selfishness and any judge will be able to see that. So, if you want custody or visitation rights with the kids then you need to take a step back and get your heart and head in the right place.
A breakup in a marriage can cause a lot of hostile feelings especially if the breakup has been caused by infidelity. A parent will have difficulty dealing with the anger and betrayal felt because of adultery. The best way to deal with the emotional upset is to get some counseling and try to deal with the anger. The adult who is awarded primary custody during divorce will need to keep those feelings in check around the children. The minors are dealing with enough without picking up on Mom's bitterness against Dad. The minors might pick up on the hurt that Mom is feeling and then will feel anger towards Dad. Children should never have to overhear a parent talking about adult situations that they do not understand. When parents talk about adult subjects they should do so where the kids cannot hear. If you find that this describes your situation, pray and ask the Lord for strength and guidance.
Primary Caregiver In DivorcePrimary caregiver in divorce is the parent who has been the main support of the children who are underage. Kids may equally depend upon both parents but there is usually one who takes the responsibility of making sure they are fed, taken to school, put to bed at night, and takes them to the doctor when needed. If mom and dad take turns doing all these things then primary caregiver in divorce may not really apply. This could be a situation where joint custody would be the answer. This is a usually a good arrangement for the children because the little ones get to see both parents equally. If the responsibility of taking care of minors is not equal then the court will determine who the primary caregiver is and may award custody to that person. "Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me" (Psalm 35).
As each case is unique, there is not one cut and dry answer to winning primary caregiver in divorce. The well being of the minors is the ultimate goal of the court. With both adults working outside the home, there is still usually one parent who takes the bulk of the responsibility of the children. The mother is the most likely candidate but there are situations where the father is the better choice. Dad is taking more of a role in the home and with the children today than ever before. This can be attributed to more women working and developing careers outside the home. Role reversal is becoming common. So, the idea that mom will automatically get custody of the kids is not really true today.
Household living arrangements will be an important factor in who gets custody of the minors. The minors will need to have someone there to take care of them at all times. If a spouse can show the court that he or she has the ability to be the primary caregiver in divorce then there is a good chance of winning custody. Providing medical insurance for the minors shows responsibility. Making sure they get to school on time everyday shows responsibility. Seeing that each child is clothed properly will not go unnoticed. There needs to be regular meals and snacks everyday. A lot of the little things will be important when partners get a divorce. To prove that you are the responsible parent the court will want to see that you did not neglect the kids at any time in the past.
Witnesses that have seen you taking care of the kids can be summoned in court to testify. Maybe the neighbor who comes over to borrow a cup of sugar witnessed you taking care of the minors. There may be a close friend who has been over at the home a lot. He or she could be used as a character witness for primary caregiver in divorce. Even the family doctor could testify that you have been the one who always brings the kids in for their checkups. Make a list of everyone who can serve as a character witness in court. Talk this over with your attorney and if there is a dispute then there may be a need for witnesses to come forth.
Judges do not want to see disputes taken into court. Fighting will not be in your favor when trying to win primary caregiver in divorce. Losing one's temper during divorce proceedings is not wise. If one spouse tries to pick a fight do not retaliate. Always keep your cool and never give in even if the other partner is inciting you. "Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee" (Psalm 32). A judge will not want the kids to be placed with someone who has a bad temper with no control. Letting one's attorney handle the disputes is the best way when there is no way that the two partners can agree. And unfortunately, this is often the case with a split-up. It is best to use wisdom and not become caught up with arguing all the time.
The unselfish adult will always look better in court than the one who seems to want everything. However, primary caregiver in divorce is not about giving up everything either. Just be careful to compromise when doing so benefits the children. Showing that you put the kids before yourself shows the court that they are your primary concern. Let the judge know that you want what is best for the minors. A break-up is hard on children and there needs to be utmost consideration for their needs during this time. This includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Taking the time to see that these needs are met will be important during a custody battle.
Joint custody is a popular choice for parents who love their babies and want to make sure they have the best. Primary caregiver in divorce does not have to be an issue if both spouses can agree on joint custody. Living close to the kid's schools will be important. Some arrangements may include each spouse having the children for six months out of the year. The other spouse can get visitation during these times as long as it is not disruptive. In other words, visitation should be on the weekends instead of on school days. If the parents do not want to agree on the six month rule then they should live close to one another where they share responsibilities equally.