The divorce process is challenging for any couple. Those who have children, however, have even more to deal with than those who don’t. Determining the child custody arrangement is a very delicate process. All factors of the children’s care, housing, time and emotional needs have to be considered. It is important for Wyoming couples to know the basics of how this extremely important arrangement is handled in their state.
The child custody agreement is one of the most carefully determined arrangements established by the courts. While the parents may come to an agreement on their own, the court has the final word on what exactly the terms of the order will be. First and foremost, the best interests of the children will be the main focus. There are many factors that go into determining what exactly those best interests are.
Both the children’s physical and emotional well-being must be considered when determining their custody. A custodial parent must be physically able to care for the children and must not have a history of child or spousal abuse. Also, he or she must be mentally stable and free of drug use. The parent must also be able to attend to the emotional needs of the children and provide a loving, enriching and supportive environment for the children to grow in. Additionally, the parent’s physical location and willingness to cooperate with the other parent are taken into consideration.
Once the court has taken into consideration all of these factors, it will determine where the children will receive the best care. This may result in one parent being granted sole custody, or the parents may share responsibilities in either joint, or shared, custody. The court’s decision will stand and will only be reconsidered if one of the parents can prove a “material and substantial” change has occurred that would cause a modification to the child custody agreement to be in the best interests of the children. For both parents, an experienced attorney knowledgeable about Wyoming child custody law will be their best source of information and guidance and an invaluable tool when navigating this sensitive situation.