If you are going through a divorce and/or in the process of dealing with child custody rights, the story of Ludacris’ battle to gain full custody of his daughter may have caught your eye.
Well, the verdict is in, after listening to both parents make their argument, the judge awarded Ludacris full custody of his daughter! Upon hearing the news you may be wondering what goes into a judge’s decision when ruling on a child custody case. And the answer… well, its not a very clear cut rule.
When the parents are unable to agree on custody rights, the judge will have full discretion in determining which parent is awarded custody. The judge awards custody based on “the best interest of the child.”
This is where things can get tricky. Now, as a parent, this may not sound too bad considering you always want what’s best for your children, however, what is “in the best interest of the child” is a very subjective, opinion based, standard. After all, the reason two parents even end up in court over child custody is because of their differing opinions on what is in the child’s best interest.
The judge will form his own definition of “in the best interest of the child” by weighing various factors on a case-by-case basis. Some of the factors that the judge may weigh are: the age of the children, each parents living situation, each parents relationship with the children before the divorce, sexual orientation, abuse/neglect, and the child’s preference. With such a flexible standard, the Judge can decide which factors to weigh more heavily than others, making the outcome of many child custody cases quite uncertain.
For any questions or concerns you may have regarding child custody, please contact an attorney at Stiles Law at 704-719-2589.