Unfortunately, many couples with children split up. When this happens, one parent will normally be given sole custody. While there are some circumstances where a couple may be able to work together well enough to share custody, the majority of cases involve one person being granted custody of a child.
Child custody is normally determined by a judge or through mediation between the parents. Custody battles can be drawn out and contentious, so if possible, people should avoid them. However, if a parent is sure that their child would be better off with them and they can’t come to an agreement with their ex, they will need to present their case in court.
Custody decisions are generally based on the best interests of a child. It is up to a parent to show that they can provide the best living situation for a child. An individual seeking custody will have a better chance of success if they have proper documentation, behave in a professional manner in the court and demonstrate a willingness to attempt to work with the other parent.
While child custody is normally determined when a couple divorces or splits up, the issue may be revisited again in the future. If the circumstances of the child or parents change significantly, it might be determined that the child may be better off with another parent. A lawyer could explain what is involved in requesting a change of custody and what circumstances may allow a parent to successfully request a change.