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Understanding what to expect can help manage child custody issues

Child custody situations can be fraught with emotion which is why the legal system seeks to help parents facing potential child custody disputes.

Many custody battles can take place over the desires of one parent, usually the parent with legal custody of the child, to relocate and the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. It is possible in such cases that the parents will require the help of the court to resolve the child custody issue. Because of this, it is important to understand the laws in the state where the couple resides because some child custody laws can differ by state and each situation, such as a proposed relocation with a child, can vary. One factor that will be looked at is the impact on the child's relationship with the parent the child will be moving away from which will be considered among other factors.

In any child custody situation, the court will look to determine the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child will override any other concerns presented to the court. The best interests of the child are determined by looking at a number of factors, including the need for a stable home environment; interactions with other members of the household; the opportunity for support and interaction with extended family members; adjustment to school and community; the age and sex of the child; the wishes of the child (if the child is of an age to express a reasonable preference); religious and cultural concerns; e and physical health of the parents; and any evidence of abuse towards the child, such as emotional or sexual, or by a parent, such as drug or alcohol abuse.

In the case of a proposed relocation, if the non-custodial parent objects to the relocation, the court will again look to determine the best interests of the child. The court will apply the above factors, as well as other possible considerations, to determine if the proposed relocation is in the best interests of the child or if it harms the interests of the child in any way. In addition to the usual considerations, the court may look at distance concerns, financial and improvement opportunities as a result of the move or increased family support.

Because child custody decisions can vary by each individual situation, child custody determinations can sometimes seem overwhelming. With the help of Michigan child custody attorneys, a parent can better understand the process, what to expect and help achieve the best outcome possible for all parties involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce," Andrea Moore, Dec. 18, 2013

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