Child Custody Lawyer Des Moines, IA
If you and your spouse are planning to get divorced and you have minor children together, the situation can become even more complicated. If you haven’t reached an agreement through mediation, you will have to go to court to resolve child custody issues. It’s important to have a child custody lawyer in Des Moines, IA by your side. You should also educate yourself about the different factors that can affect a child custody ruling.
What Factors Can Determine Child Custody?
- The Wishes of the Child: Usually, children over the age of 12 are considered mature enough to have some say in the child custody decision. However, a judge will first assess the child’s reasoning first. If the child, for example, says he or she wants to live with one parent because the parent gives him or her more freedom, the judge probably won’t honor that preference. On the other hand, if the child says he or she feels closer to one parent, the judge may take the preference more seriously.
- Physical and Mental Health of Parents: As a child custody lawyer in Des Moines, IA can confirm, the judge will closely look at the physical and mental health of both parents before making a custody decision. If one parent, for example, has a serious illness, he or she may not be able to tend to the child’s needs. The judge will likely award custody to the parent who is both physically and mentally healthier.
- The Relationship Between the Child and Each Parent: A child custody lawyer in Des Moines, IA can attest that the judge will take a close look at the relationship between each parent and the child. For example, if one parent hasn’t been in the child’s life for a while, the judge will likely award custody to the other parent, who has a closer relationship with the child.
- Each Parent’s Living Accommodations: How and where each parent lives will also be taken into account during a child custody decision. For instance, if one parent lives in a small one-bedroom apartment, it might not be a suitable living arrangement for a growing child. The judge may be more likely to award custody to the parent who still resides in the family home.
- Suspected Abuse: If one parent has been accused of abusing the child in the past, the judge will weigh this heavily when making a custody decision. He or she will most likely award custody to the other parent and only allow supervised visitation with the parent accused of abuse.
Consulting With a Child Custody Lawyer
A child custody battle isn’t something you want to go through alone. It’s in your best interest to speak to a qualified child custody lawyer in Des Moines, IA. He or she will provide excellent legal guidance and improve your chances of getting a good outcome.