Divorce can be heated as it is, but when child custody becomes an issue, it can become downright nasty. Parents will often slam the other in an attempt to obtain sole custody of their child and to force the other parent to pay child support. While some of the issues raised during these disputes are irrelevant, others may directly pertain to the child’s best interests, the determinative factor a judge used to make reach a final decision.
Sherri Shepherd, co-host of television’s “The View,” is now in the midst of two child custody battles. Shepherd’s first husband is seeking a child custody modification granting him custody of the couple’s nine-year-old son. According to Shepherd’s ex-husband, the child has been subjected to neglect, Shepherd has left the child in the care of unskilled household workers, and Shepherd’s work schedule prevents her from giving the child the love and care he needs. Reports of this dispute arise after Shepherd has been rumored to be battling her current, but soon-to-be ex-husband, for custody of their unborn child to be delivered via surrogate.
When child custody is challenged by one parent, it often becomes necessary for a parent to show why his or her household is best suited to support the child’s best interests. Factors such as income, cleanliness, history of substance abuse, history of violence, and parenting ability are often taken into consideration when a judge makes a determination. On the other hand, child custody and visitation rights can be determined through an agreement between the parties without court interference, but this requires cooperative parents and an amicable divorce.
No matter the scenario it is best for Massachusetts’ parents to protect their and their children’s legal interests. A Massachusetts Child Custody attorney can advise divorcing parents of their rights and help guide them in making legal decisions that will preserve the strong, protective relationship they have with their children.
Source: New York Daily News, “Sherri Shepherd’s first husband Jeffrey Tarpley files for full custody of their son,” Margaret Eby, May 17, 2014