As a parent, divorce can feel incredibly stressful. In addition to figuring out your newly separated life from your spouse, you also need to negotiate how you will care for your children.
It can feel overwhelming going from being with your child every day to a situation where you have to share custody. It is important to keep in mind that courts want to help you and your ex create a child custody agreement that is fair to both parents while supporting the children’s interests.
Here’s what you should know about the factors New Hampshire courts consider when determining child custody.
Ideally, you work together
Every family has different needs, and it can be challenging to give the court the complete picture of your family’s needs. When couples can work together to formulate a parenting plan, the courts are likely to allow the parents to move forward unless it is blatantly unreasonable.
When you cannot agree on child custody, the court will help you create the fairest plan for both parents and the children.
What do courts look at to determine custody?
It can feel like a vulnerable moment when the court steps in to help you and your ex agree on a child custody agreement. You know the court looks at the “best interest of the children,” but it can be difficult to fully understand how courts make their decision.
As the court looks at your situation and what custody arrangement is best for your children, they will look at factors such as:
- Relationships between parents and children
- Evidence of abuse
- Relationship between parents to support joint custody
- Logistics of caring for the children, including transportation to school and paying for necessities
- Social and developmental needs of the children
Additionally, depending on the children’s ages, the court may look at the opinions of the children. Typically, this is only a factor for mature children who have clearly had no undue influence by one or both parents.
Negotiation child custody is an essential element of your divorce. It is critical to have qualified help as you move forward.