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What circumstances could result in an uneven custody split?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2019 | Firm News

Married couples in Nebraska considering divorce often have one issue that worries them more than anything else. The custody of minor children can be a contentious matter. It is not uncommon for couples to use custody as a way to punish one another.

Both spouses may be so focused on winning custody that they fail to consider how their arguments and tactics could impact their children. The focus on punishing their ex can make working together to parent in the future that much more difficult. Fathers and mothers can wind up resenting one another because of how things go in court.

The truth is that even the most contentious divorce can still lead to shared custody. In fact, shared custody arrangements are preferred in most Nebraska divorces. The courts favor co-parenting arrangements because that is typically what is in the best interest of the children. Under state law, that must be the guiding principle for all custody decisions. Fathers who seek shared custody can typically secure it.

In rare cases, shared custody won’t benefit the kids

Regardless of what the dynamic is between the parents, children almost always benefit from having relationships with both of their parents. As such, the courts try to create parenting plans that ensure both parents remain active in the life of the children following a divorce.

However, there are certain, rare circumstances in which the courts are likely to claim that shared custody doesn’t benefit the children. The most common reasons that the courts may award sole custody to one parent instead of shared custody are:

  • drug abuse
  • mental health issues
  • physical health issues that preclude parenting
  • a history of physical or sexual abuse
  • severe financial instability

Unless you or your ex has to deal with one of those issues, it is unlikely that the courts are going to award sole custody to either individual.

An attorney can help you make smart custody decisions

In some circumstances, pushing for sole custody could make you look like someone who puts their own needs before the needs of their children. That could actually impact the way the courts rule in your custody case.

Your best option in a divorce is to discuss your family’s dynamics with an attorney as soon as possible. From there, you can make a more informed decision about the strategies to employ based on the most likely outcomes in your divorce.

It is impossible to predict the exact outcome in any divorce, but it is likely that you and your ex will share custody to some degree. You should start planning for that now to ensure you can share parental responsibilities in a healthy, positive manner.