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The Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Web site: www.nasbatools.com.

The Basics of Child Custody

A child is easily the most vulnerable person involved throughout the emotional side of divorce. Although the prospect might sometimes be tempting, a parent should never ever use the child as a bargaining tool during the sometimes difficult negotiations. If the child becomes a pawn in this game of emotional chess, alterations must be made before situations become irreversible.

Unfortunately, our legal system today still has a tendency to treat a child as a piece of property. As divorce has become more commonplace in contemporary society, consideration for the child's well being has merited much greater significance. Still, by no means has the judicial system completely solved this dilemma, which is why experts agree the best resolution concerning child related issues is usually an agreement struck out of court between the divorcing parties.

There are many different types of child custody agreements that can be decided with or without the help of the court, but one must always remember the main objective is to reach the arrangement that is best suited for the child.

These basic facts should be kept in mind when reading through the Child Custody Section:
  • The court makes the final decision, thus assumes full responsibility in order to permanently safeguard the child against acute or chronic feelings of guilt.
  • The court will consider the child's wishes differently according to his or her age.
  • In a situation involving more than one child, experts feel that it is usually best to keep all siblings together with respect to the custody arrangements.
  • Divorce splits the bond of husband and wife, and custody splits the bond of parenting.
  • A custody dispute is more likely to be more difficult than the divorce itself, because the bond of parenting is typically stronger than that of marriage.
  • Most importantly, each and every family is unique, with very distinctive needs and desires that must be kept at the forefront of any and all considerations.

Return to the Child Custody Page