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Best Interest Child

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Child Custody - Joint Custody And The Best Interest Of The Child Standard

"In the best interest of the child" or "child's best interest" is the famous mantra of the family court, which is prevalent in child custody proceedings today, yet its interpretation by the family court or judges is often arbitrary and its meaning is still obscure. Moreover, the law regarding child custody varies from state to state leaving no uniform legal position regarding what is in the best interest of the child. Some states have a preference and presumption towards joint custody while others do not. Some states are amending its law to adopt a preference and presumption for joint custody while others are amending its law to allow joint custody only when the parents agree to it.

Like most states the standard for child custody determination in California is the overall best interest of the child such that it assures the "health, safety, and welfare" of the child and "frequent and continuing contact" with both parents. However, California does not establish a preference or a presumption for or against joint custody or custody to one parent and therefore leaves the parenting plan decision up to the discretion of the family court or a judge. In 1979, California adopted a presumption for joint custody, but later amended the law in 1994 to allow joint custody only when the parents agreed to it. According to the American Bar Association website, other states such as Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington also adopted laws in favor of joint custody, but only when the parents agreed to it. Other states such as the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Texas, have laws favoring a presumption for joint custody. In a few other states, joint custody is not specifically authorized.

Regardless of each states position for or against a presumption or preference in favor of joint custody and whether or not it has been specifically authorized, overall there appears to be a growing trend in favor of joint custody and more and more bills being introduced to adopt a presumption for joint custody being in the best interest of the child unless certain circumstances apply, such as convincing evidence that a parent is unfit or it would not be in the best interest of the child to award joint custody.

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, whether it is the initial child custody determination or a child custody modification, you would be wise to consult a family law attorney in your jurisdiction to help you learn what the law and standard for custody determinations is in your area and how it applies to your specific situation. Further you will want to learn what factors the court will consider in determining the best interest of the child so you are fully aware of your child custody rights and responsibilities.

Copyright 2007 Child Custody Coach

Child Custody Coach supplies information, online materials, and coaching services to parents in the field of child custody, namely, divorce, child custody and visitation, child custody evaluations, 730 evaluations, parenting, and all issues related to child custody and divorce. "How to Win Child Custody - Proven Strategies that can Win You Custody and Save You Thousands in Attorney Cost!" is a unique child custody strategy guide written by The Custody Coach and made available by Child Custody Coach in an easy to read, understand, and apply E-Book format. Custody Match is an online consumer and family law attorney matching service to help you in your search for the right attorney for your divorce or child custody case. Custody Match can help you find the right family law attorney, divorce lawyer, or child custody attorney in your area.

Child Custody Child Custody For Dads

The issue of child custody rights for Dads have always been an issue. The child's well being is always considered above all. The judgment of child custody usually depends how traditional the judge is. Many people feel that the child should be with the mother on an every day basis if they are very young. However, no matter which ruling is stated, it is still believed that the father should be apart of the child's life.

There are certain circumstances when the father is not responsible enough for sole custody or joint custody. Visitation rights are then enforced. In order for the father to be awarded custody, the court must see that he has a safe home where the child can stay. If the mother is well fit then typically joint custody is awarded. When the mother and father can work together, they can come to an agreement about when the child will be with each parent. The father is usually the one the child goes with every other weekend while the mother keeps the child the rest of the time.

If the child primarily lives with the mother, even if the father has joint custody, then the father is responsible for child support. Usually, even if the mother makes more money than the father, the father is still responsible to take care of the child financially. The court will base the child support on the father's income. There are often times when the mother does not want the father to be granted child custody rights. When the father is the reason for the divorce, this is usually the issue. However, if the courts cannot find a reason that the father should not be granted joint custody, or visitation rights, then the ruling will be granted in the fathers favor.

Countries all over the world have started Father's Rights Movements. There are multiple laws enforced in each country that support father's rights for child custody. It varies from country to country, but overall the laws are the same. Several countries do not have as many laws enforced for fathers like the US has. In 2006, Australia made the law that fathers should be allowed to have joint custody. Obviously, fathers have not been highly thought of when it comes to their children's lives. Hopefully, with the support of the court, fathers all over the world can gain the respect that many of them deserve.

Dave Huffman has custody of his 3 children. He has a child custody information blog at

What Is A Child Custody Evaluation? Tips To Help You Win Custody Of Your Kids

The purpose of a Child Custody Evaluation is to assess your individual and overall family factors that may potentially affect the best interests of the child. It is a tool that courts use to weigh your parenting ability with the needs of your kids. They look at your knowledge, skills, abilities and most importantly how you interact with your child.

Basically it is a psychologists summary of you and your overall ability to be a good parent. Unless you are abusing your kids, it will rarely take your parenting rights completely away but it does have a lot of power to sway the courts to give or take away full or joint custody.

A couple of things to keep in mind when you are going through a child custody evaluation are:

. Be yourself. It's ok to embellish a little but don't over do it. Typically the evaluator is a psychologist and they are usually pretty good at knowing when you are saying things just to look good or whether it comes from the heart. The more honest you are about your strengths and weaknesses, the more they will believe you. Don't forget that the custody evaluator is also looking at your values and being honest is a big one.

. Document everything. Write in a daily journal or even offer your own custody plan that is child friendly and tailored to the needs of your kids.

. Have all of your paper work well organized. Include school records Doctors visits

. Make sure that you keep track of your kids activities like sports, ballet, etc and make sure you include activities or trips you do as a family. Make sure that you include everything from pick up- drop off times to holidays and school vacations and if possible the amount of time that will be or was spent with the other parent.

Basically you want to be able to show the court, not just tell them, why you are the best choice for custody of your kids. Try to focus on all of your positives and not the other parents negatives.

For more tips on child custody evaluations and a free report with critical strategies that can help you win custody of your kids, please visit my website at

I wish you and your kids all the best,

Travis Scott

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Child Custody Questions
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Custody Children Visitation
Legal Children Custody
Joint Physical Custody
Children Custody Papers
Child Custody Battles
What is the Best Interest of the Child
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