Previously, I posted questions about parent “fitness” and past parent involvement. Today, I have questions about parent/child relationships, child’s preference, living environment, support systems and lifestyle. As I mentioned at outset of this series, a custody or visitation dispute may involve some, none or all of these considerations. In making those decisions, the court must defer to the Best Interests of the Child Statute (previously posted). These questions are aimed at eliciting information from a parent that a court might find useful in making that determination.
Does the child confide in the parent?
Does the child respect the parent?
Does the parent respect the child?
What is the level and extent of communication between parent and child?
How does the child react to discipline from the parent?
How old is the child?
How mature is the child?
Can the child accurately assess what is in his/her best interests?
Has the child been pressured into a “preference”?
To whom and under what circumstances has the preference been expressed?
What is the basis for the child’s preference?
Home, School & Community Environment
Can the child continue in school activities where he/she will be living?
Are there kids their age in the community?
Will school or parents be able to meet special needs?
Is child involved in clubs, activities, etc?
Is location of home suitable for children?
What is location of school child will attend?
Any concerns for safety of the child in the neighborhood or at school?
Availability of Support Systems of Each Parent
New spouse and step-children
Other family members
Mental health professionals
Child care providers
The Lifestyle of Each Parent
Occupation and work habits of parent
Involvement in the community
Involvement in church
Excessive use of alcohol, drugs
Responsibility (how were decisions made during the marriage)
Social life (hours kept)
Exposure of child to new romantic interests.
Cleanliness of home
My experience and background reflect the hallmarks of success one must demand of a lawyer in Northern Virginia's legal landscape. As a native of this area, I have here focused my practice on providing sound and balanced representation to clients navigating the difficult legal waters of family law, including contested divorce, custody, visitation, spousal and child support, and equitable distribution. More >>>
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