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Prioritizing children’s interests in divorce

When parents split up and choose to divorce, it is often very difficult for children to transition to a new life with parents living in separate homes and in some cases separate cities or states altogether. When courts consider a custody dispute, they prioritize the best interests of children so that the children's needs are met first and foremost.

Practically speaking, this means that parents may need to focus their divorce strategies on their children if they hope to achieve their own goals. When courts see a parent proposing solutions that meet the needs of his or her child while the other parent fights for custody terms that do not serve the needs of the child very well, the court is almost always likely to favor the first parent.

Courts prefer most of all for parents to work together to present them with a parenting plan that features both parents prominently in the lives of a child. Conversely, a court is unlikely to favor plans where one parent seeks full custody of a child despite the other parent's desire to participate in the life of the child and his or her ability to do so.

It is almost always wise to work with your child's other parent as much as you can to create a plan that best meets the child's needs before your own. While protecting the best interests of your child is always a priority, it is also important to protect your own rights as a parent.

Do not hesitate to seek out strong legal counsel and resources to help you identify the tools and advantages you have and use them efficiently to keep yourself secure in this difficult season.

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  1. Charles W. Dobbins, Jr.

    Charles earned his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1974

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    Mark W. Dobbins

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    Patrick T. Schmidt

    Patrick earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1989.

    He earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1992.

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    Elizabeth M. Jenkins

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