When parents in West Virginia or elsewhere divorce, among the most important aspects they must consider are the needs and best interests of their children. Research has shown that children tend to do better when they have regular access to both parents following divorce, and many experts believe that joint custody should be the standard in every divorce, provided it is appropriate. Here are some things parents should understand about joint custody.
Protecting the children’s best interests
Above all else, the court will consider the best interests of the children when considering the terms of a custody agreement. Proponents claim children do better when they have more-or-less equal time with both parents. However, some believe that the custody agreement should be left up to the parents instead of their receiving a mandate to devise a joint custody agreement by law.
Several states have already adopted joint custody as a legal standard in divorce, whereby both parents are granted equal authority as far as decision-making and parenting time, etc. However, every divorce case is different, and what may work for one family may not work for the other. Again, the best interests of the children should trump all other decisions, and joint custody may or may not be the best choice in certain family situations.
Regardless of the decisions parents make regarding child custody in divorce, their decisions will impact their family and children for years to come. As such, parents will want to make sure they are making the best and most prudent decisions with regard to their children. By seeking legal counsel from an experienced family law attorney in West Virginia, parents can gain a full understanding of their rights and options and work with the lawyer to come up with a viable custody plan that will work for the family well into the future.