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Best interests of the child standard guides custody decisions

Custody issues are likely arise when parents decide to end their relationship, prompting a decision to be made about where the child will live. Dealing with child custody situations can be volatile because at the end of the day, one parent will inevitably be granted more time with the child than the other parent.

Parental kidnapping is a serious problem when it comes to resolving child custody issues in divorce proceedings. A parent who is not awarded custody of the children and has to rely on a visitation schedule to see the kids may resort to illegal means to spend time with their children. In Western Michigan, a man was recently found guilty of taking his kids away from their mother without her permission; the man was charged with two counts of parental kidnapping for absconding with his 4-year old and his 2-year old children to Key West, Florida.

In making child custody decisions, the courts use the best interest of the child standard to determine where the child should be placed. This standard guides the court in making its custody decision by allowing the court to look at what will benefit the child. Additionally, the court takes into consideration the child's perspective and opinion on placement where appropriate. All courts in divorce proceedings dealing with this particular topic use the best interest of the child standard.

Child custody cases are never easy and are likely to be emotionally charged. Parents should avoid taking the law into their own hands, however; working with a legal professional within the system is the best way to work towards a child custody arrangement by which all parties can abide.

Source: Morning Sun, "Jury finds man guilty of parental kidnapping," March 2, 2013

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Law Offices of Harris & Literski
123 Brighton Lake Road, Suite 205
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