Who is going to raise the children, and how much time the children are going to spend with each parent can become a very important issue. Some of the most difficult decisions that a Judge can make are on these topics. Very often, the mother and the father can reach an agreement as to which of them is going to be the parent of primary custody, and how much time the children will spend with the other parent. If they cannot reach an agreement, things can get complicated, and bitter and unfortunately very expensive.
If a Judge has to decide where the children are going to live, the Judge will want the help and input of a mental health expert. It is the Judge’s job to decide “what is in the best interest of the children”, which means what is best for the children. It is very difficult for the Judge to do that without detailed knowledge of the situation, a detailed understanding of how the children are doing, which parents are performing which functions for the children, how much time the children are currently spending with
each of the parents, and how much time the children are spending with each parent now, and how much time they were spending before the parents split up. This is only the beginning of the list of things that must be taken into consideration. For these reasons, the Judges very, very often want the help of a mental health professional who will go interview the mother and the father, and the children, and maybe other members of the family, or possibly even friends or neighbors who might have important information about the children and their lives.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent of your children, then you will need an experienced family law attorney to help you. Remember, you to take the case in front of a Judge, the Judge will be looking at all of the factors involved, and trying to decide what is best for the children. An experienced attorney can help you in this process greatly.