There’s a reason the term has “Child” in its name: child custody decision-making is based upon the basic needs and rights of children involved. The courts look at many aspects of the current living arrangements and parenting situations, but you may be asking yourself what some basic needs and rights of children are.
Maya Rosa lists five examples of basic needs and rights for children in child custody cases. Note – these are NOT listed in order of importance. They should, instead, be looked at in equal importance:
- Education affects children in a substantial way. Their whole life is shaped by the education they get, so courts look to your access to school systems. This can either involve their current school situation or the possibility of having and maintaining a healthy learning environment in the home.
- Child safety is vital to their wellbeing. Any evidence or history of substance abuse, neglect, or abuse towards the child will negatively affect your custody chances in a severe way.
- Abuse goes into the safety category. For health, courts look at if a parent is able to bring a child to necessary doctor’s appointments, if the parent can pay for needed medications, or anything else involving the many health needs of children. Are you a smoker? The court also takes that into consideration.
- special needs is a topic that’s gaining much more needed attention nowadays. The court takes child disabilities very seriously. As a parent, it’s important that he or she be able to financially provide for and accommodate these needs. The court also looks at if a parent can handle the child disability situation with emotional maturity.
- Children are vulnerable and need proper care and attention. The previous four needs must be met, but so must the community aspect. It can be traumatizing if a child has to be removed from his or her friends and/or family. Therefore, if a special custody arrangement calls for a child to be uprooted from these relationships, the court may be less receptive to granting custody to this parent.
There are, of course, other factors involved in the court’s decision to grant a parent child custody privileges, but these are five basic and important child needs. Interfering with these or not adhering to the stipulated arrangement could result in a modification that doesn’t work in your favor.
We want to help you. At Southern Oaks Law Firm, Taylor Fontenot is a trusted family lawyer that specializes in child custody law. Call today at 337-704-7255.