Child custody is the most difficult issue in a divorce. A variety of combinations exist to protect the best interests of the child. If the mother or father cannot agree on a custody arrangement, a judge will decide what is in the child’s best interest. In these cases, absent an appeal to a higher court, the parties must abide by the judge’s decision.
The Courts look exclusively at the child’s best interest, and no longer prefer the mother over the father in custody issues. The Courts may conduct a study of which home environment is best suited for the child and may even appoint a guardian ad litem for the child during the custody battle. A guardian ad litem, an independent attorney who is appointed to review the matter, acts in the best interest of the child. Be forewarned though, the parents may have to pay the guardian’s fee as well as their own attorney’s fees. A custody battle can be very expensive and emotionally devastating for both sides, win or lose. Be prepared!