Not all parents are amenable or willing to compromise with the other regarding custody and visitation. It is usually to your benefit not to be so entrenched on certain issues since this signals to the court an unwillingness to cooperate and perhaps a level of immaturity that can weigh against you in a final custody determination. Alternatives to costly litigation are mediation and collaborative divorce. Mediation is having a neutral third party assess each party’s arguments and desires and attempts to iron out an agreement. Collaborative divorce uses professionals from different disciplines such as finance, psychology and social work in a non-adversarial atmosphere to help the parties reach an accord on custody and any other issues.

If no agreement is reached, the court will ultimately decide for you. Our attorneys can counsel you on what the court will consider including your overall behavior, safety and cleanliness of your home, character, and disciplinary policies toward your children, parenting skills, communication skills and willingness to work with the co-parent. The court will also consider any drug or alcohol issues, domestic violence allegations and proof, needs of the child and the community where the child will be primarily residing. The court looks at these factors in the context of what is in the best interests of your child.