Fighting for a parent’s right for their children may be one of the most emotional topics covered in the court. It is a good thing that there are certain law offices that have the professional experience on handling such cases, such as the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield.

Sure, you can trust attorneys to do everything for you, but it doesn’t hurt to have a background on things that involve child custody and visitation. Here are some of the common questions you should consider to expand your knowledge on the subject.

Are mothers more likely to get custody than fathers?
In the past, children about five years old or below are awarded to the mother, because they are still in their “tender years.” But in recent years, most states are now looking into the child’s best interest without considering his or her age and the gender of the parents.

Does custody go to one parent only?
Most of the time, both parents have some level of custody over the child. It may be joint physical custody and joint legal custody. In joint physical custody, the parents can have relatively equal amount of time spent with the child. In joint legal custody, the parents share decisions that involve the child’s growth, like educational, medical, and religious decisions.

What factors affect the court’s decision?
The court considers many factors in deciding over custody and visitation, but it all boils down to the best interest of the child. As much as possible, the court will want the child to continue its life, avoiding the most disruptions as possible. It is also going to consider the child’s age, health, and mental stability, the parent’s ability to provide food and shelter, and the emotional ties between child and parent.

Can the child select the parent he or she will live with?
The child has the right to choose with whom he or she will go with only if he or she has finally reached a certain age. The age is usually 12 or older. But the choice can still be overridden, especially if it is proven that the chosen parent is not of the best interest of the child. The court is still the absolute authority, so the child’s decision shall not be seen as too controlling after all.