It is said that marriages are made in heaven. If this is true, are divorces made in hell? I don’t believe so. Divorce is the result of a marriage not working out. The dissolution of a marriage takes place in the courthouse. Children born from the marriage are victims in a divorce. Children want their parents’ marriage to work. They want their parents to get along and stay together. They don’t understand the issues that cause their parents to divorce.
The standard for determining custody of the parties’ children is the “children’s best interest.” Which parent has superior parenting skills? Which parent enriches the children’s lives more? Which parent has been the nurturing parent or primarily involved in taking care of the children’s basic needs during the course of their minority? These issues are considered in determining what the children’s best interests are. Courts always render their decision concerning child custody and visitation related to what they believe is the children’s best interest.
What is joint custody? It is the sharing of parenting-time each parent has with the children; sharing responsibility in the children’s lives; having each parent contribute to the decision making process concerning the best interests of the children. Joint custody does not mean that the children live in two different places during the course of their minority. Generally speaking, there is one residential custodial parent and a non-residential custodial parent. Instead of one parent getting visitation with the children and the other parents having custody, each parent has parenting time with the children.
Parents Not Friends
Children need their parents. A parent’s responsibility is to educate their children, support their children and love their children. Sometimes parents have to take a tough line with their children to see to it they become responsible, law abiding, appropriate human beings. Tough love can be difficult but sometimes it is necessary in child rearing. Parents must distinguish themselves from the children’s friends.
Residential Custody and Child Support
In joint custody situations, as indicated earlier, one parent acts as the residential custodial parent. It is important to establish a specific residence for a child so the child will be allowed to register in his or her local school district. However, even if the parents have virtually equal parenting time with the child or children, the non-residential custodial parent has an obligation to pay child support to the residential custodial parent. There are times that this is unfair! However, the law to New York requires the non-residential custodial parent to pay child support to the residential custodial parent even if the non-residential custodial parent has the same or similar expenses for the child as the residential custodial parent.
The best interest of the child is a fairly general term. Both mothers and fathers have equal rights to custody in New York. If the parents both want custody of the child, joint custody of the child may be a solution in many cases.