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A child's best interests should guide custody during divorce

Divorce can be the result when two married people find that they are no longer able to live together or function as a cohesively united pair. Although divorce does not have to be a challenging, acrimonious process, it can be very difficult to settle some of the vitally important matters that arise when two Spokane residents choose to end their legal relationship. One matter that can pose significant trials for divorcing parties is how to responsibly manage the custody of the children they share. In Washington courts and courts throughout many American jurisdictions, child custody decisions should be made after considering the best interests of the children.

It is important that readers of this post understand that the best interests of children will vary and be subjective to the unique needs of the family affected by the divorce proceedings. As such, when a court evaluates a child's best interests it will consider a number of factors, only some of which will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

For example, a court may consider basic information about a child such as their age and sex when deciding how physical and legal custody should be established. If the child is of an appropriate age the court may listen to the child's wishes regarding custody and may consider if other children exist in the family whose presence in the affected child's life would be beneficial.

If a child requires special assistance or possesses needs that exceed regular support and attention a court may assess which parent is better equipped to provide the child with what they require. Courts may also consider if a child's placement with a parent would impact their schooling or involvement in activities and if such changes would negatively affected them.

Child custody decisions are only a small part of settling a divorce but can have significant impacts on the children involved. To ensure that the children's best interests are being considered during custody negotiations, many divorcing parents request assistance from family law attorneys to advise them of their legal rights and responsibilities.

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