A Connecticut attorney recently premiered his award-winning child custody short film for its premiere public screening. The two attorneys behind the film, one with filmmaking experience, are both former chairs of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Family Law Section. The film, “Talk to Strangers,” is based on the child custody experience through the eyes of two children navigating the process. The film also offers a guide for parents to follow along with in order to promote consensus building and avoid custody disputes.
The focus of the child custody process is on whatever is in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, sometimes, this focus can be lost through child custody battles. Parents must sort out child custody issues, including legal custody, joint custody, physical custody and visitations rights at a time that is usually emotional and stressful. Couples are able to resolve many issues that come as a result of an end of a relationship together. However, if the couple is unable to agree, the court can step in to make important determinations.
This usually makes resolving issues such as child custody agreements in a peaceful manner preferable to contentious litigation. If the couple is unable to agree due to a child custody dispute, the court will make the necessary determinations based on the best interests of the child. Common factors that are used to determine the best interests of the child include the need for a stable home environment, the interaction or relationships with members of the household, adjustments to school or community and the wishes of the child (depending on the age of the child). Judges will often take into account religion and cultural considerations, as well as the physical, mental and emotional health of the parents.
It is important, whenever possible in child custody disputes, to remain focused on what is best for the child. By focusing on that shared goal, though it may at times be difficult, parents will be able to reach child custody agreements all parties can live with. The more one understands the child custody process, and the guiding principle of the best interests of the child, the better chance there will be for peaceful resolutions of child custody disputes.