Divorce is rife with emotionally charged issues that often see soon-to-be ex-spouses at their worst. However, when children are involved in the marital split, their best interests should be front and center. Moms and dads who fall short in putting them first do so at the risk of harming their offspring.
Custody matters involve legal decisions about living arrangements, school location, and other essential factors. Kids have a right to expect a roof over their heads and be provided for in every way possible, physically and emotionally.
Ultimately, the decision is made by the courts.
Fathers as primary or shared caregivers
While mothers are presumed to be the best caregivers, fathers have the same rights. Under the tenet that the children’s best interests come first, many cases see fathers be awarded full custody of their kids. The preferred dynamic is to have both parents share equal custody of their offspring.
Custody can take many forms and include:
- Sole legal custody – One parent makes all significant decisions
- Joint legal custody – Parents cannot move forward with significant medical, educational, or religious decisions without agreement from their ex-spouse
- Sole physical custody – Children primarily reside with one parent, with some time allotted for the non-custodial parent
- Joint physical custody – Both parents have equal parenting time with children
The court will consider both parents’ employment status and who has the better arrangement for the children. In some cases, mental and physical health are considered, as is any substance abuse, money problems, and their overall home environment.
Changing dynamics involving mothers and fathers have evolved over the years. Dads have come a long way over time. In most situations, the ideal plan is for both parents, who put their best interests first.