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Delaware Divorce Custody

Most of Delaware courts prefer child custody issues to be settled “outside the court”. 90% child custody matters in divorce are usually settled between the divorcing parents and they also come up with practical parenting plan and visitation rights. However, some divorced couples are unable to arrive at any decision regarding child custody and approach the courts. Child custody laws of Delaware are based on the premise that the best interests of the child should not be compromised at any costs. While awarding child custody be it joint custody or sole custody, courts follow these guidelines:
  • The wishes and interests of the parents are taken into account while the courts consider child custody matter.

  • While handling divorce child custody laws, judges look into the emotional, medical, social, religious needs of the child and try to determine which parent can fulfill the requirements of the child.

  • The parent who can continue to provide the same community and thus, ensure stable environs for the latter’s growth has higher chances of winning the custody of the child.

  • Divorce child custody cases are decided upon the physical and metal fitness of the parents. If one parent is proven to be incapable of raising the child owing to some mental or physical disability, then the other parent gets the custody of the child.

  • If there are any evidences of domestic violence or child abuse, child neglect etc, then the parent who has such police records is unlikely to get the child custody. Safety and security of the child is again an important matter which is considered while awarding child custody in the courts of Delaware.

  • How compliant have been the divorced parents to the orders of the court while child custody case is proceeding? Whether they have attended parental counseling programs as recommended by the judges handling the custody issue? More adherence and law-abiding the parent is, more is his/her chances of winning the child custody battle.

  • The parent, who is likely to encourage the bond between the other parent and the child and respect visitation rights, has higher chances of getting the custody of the child.

  • Delaware courts prefer joint custody over sole custody and are very hesitant to award the latter. It is because courts feel that the child should have optimal contact with both the divorced parents unless the non-custodian parent is involved in abusing the child, proven to be alcoholic, indulged in drug/substance abuse and of child neglect.

  • Child support is to be extended to the child till the child turns 18 or gets a High School diploma. This figure is arrived at by calculating the earnings of the parents who have filed for the divorce child custody case. Their financial capabilities and returns are take into account, as well as the medical or educational needs of the child are assessed while deciding upon the amount of child support.
Courts wish to take care of the welfare of the child in all means and would like to ensure that all the comforts of life are bestowed on the child. Thus, such divorce custody cases are settled after careful hearing of both the parents.

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