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How is child custody decided?

If you are getting a divorce and have children, then you will have to figure out custody arrangements. If you and your spouse cannot decide these arrangements on your own, then the court will get involved. When the court makes custody decisions, as explained by the West Virginia Legislature, they do so based on what is in the best interests of the child.

The best interests of a child means that the decision will provide the most stability for the child. It will ensure the child has time with both parents that allows for the cultivation of good relationships. In addition, the court wants to be sure that whoever is awarded custody has the ability to take care of all the child's needs and can protect the child from harm of any kind.

The court wants to make a decision that will have a minimal impact on the child.  While it is impossible to completely ensure your child will not have any negative reactions to the decision, the court wants to minimize the turmoil for your child. After all, you and your spouse are the ones ending a relationship. The court wants to ensure the relationships between you and your child and your spouse and your child remain intact.

The bottom line is that the court is looking out for your child above all else. What you want or what your spouse wants matters very little. The court takes information it has gotten into consideration and tries to make the decision that will be the best possible for your child, which may not be what you want. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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