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Divorce and child custody: How is a decision made?

Are you going through the divorce process? Do you have one or more child with your soon-to-be former spouse? If so, you know that the divorce process will be even more complicated.

In an overall sense, there is nothing more important than the wellbeing of your child. You should keep this in mind as the process moves forward, as you never want to do anything that could cause your child harm.

Before we go any further, remember this: The courts will always do what they feel is in the best interests of the child.

Child custody and visitation are typically resolved in one of the following ways:

-- The parents come to an agreement related to all details. This typically happens via mediation or some type of informal settlement negotiation.

-- The court makes a decision. If both individuals are unable to work things out on their own, the case moves to court. As noted above, the judge will then make decisions that are in the best interest of your child.

There are times when out of court negotiation, such as through mediation, leads both parents down the right path. There are also times when two people are unable to agree on key details, meaning that litigation is the only option.

As someone going through divorce, you need to make decisions that will benefit you and your child. Understand your many options, including mediation, which will allow you the opportunity to have custody decided by the parents instead of by a judge. After all, who knows your child better than you and the other parent?

Source: FindLaw, "How Child Custody Decisions Are Made," accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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