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Who determines the best interest of the child?

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Anonymous Asked:

If a parent wants a separation, willing to move out but insists on taking child from residence. Other parent will agree to separation but wants to keep child in marital home. Who determines the best interest of the child? How is this situation solved?

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Jennifer M. Long, B.A. J.D.
5 years ago

Where custody and access are in dispute, the most important consideration is the best interests of the child. Courts will look at who has been the child’s primary caregiver, and significant weight is usually given to the status quo, with effort made to cause as little disruption to the child’s life as possible. Depending on your specific circumstances, a shared parenting arrangement could be appropriate, but many factors have to be taken into account. If possible, negotiating an agreement outside of court will save parties the time and cost of litigation, and will spare the child from being placed in the middle of what often turns into a battle between the parents. You should see or a lawyer, or you can consider trying to jointly use a parenting coordinator to help with a parenting plan.

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