Getting Divorced – How is Child Custody Decided? 

Getting a divorce is an extremely difficult and challenging time. Not only will your life change substantially going forward, including your living situation and finances, but so will the lives of your loved ones and people around you, your children most of all. 

Divorce is hard on everyone, but children in particular. Children can often feel stuck between two parents, not sure which one to turn to or offer their support. If you’re getting a divorce and you’re concerned about what will happen to your children, we’ve put together this guide to help you assess your options. Keep reading to check it out.

If You And Your Partner Agree

In what might be relatively straightforward or incredibly difficult, you and your partner are going to have to have several discussions about what will happen with the children. Child custody is one of the most contested points of a divorce and can lead to serious bad blood and long-lasting ill feelings. 

If you and your partner can come to an agreement about the best way to look after your children as you move forward, all the better. You do not need to enshrine this agreement in law if you don’t feel it is necessary. However, you can make the decision legally binding through the use of a child custody lawyer if you wish. 

This is done through the use of a consent order which will outline details that each of you have agreed to including where the child or children will live, how much time they spend with each parent and when they spend it, and what kind of contact should take place and when. This consent order will need to be signed by both parties and confirmed. 

If you’re finding it difficult to come to an agreement, hiring Visitation Law Services can help improve communication in this area. This can help prevent heated arguments.

If You Can’t Agree

If you and your partner cannot come to an agreement, things can start to get more complicated. You will need to apply for a court order so you can settle your dispute in court. This can be expensive and time consuming, and there’s no guarantee the outcome is going to be satisfactory. 

You’ll need to demonstrate that you have both been unable to come to an agreement, even through the use of a mediator. You’ll likely have to attend several appointments and court hearings with your child custody lawyer, and the court could even order you to try and agree between yourselves again, with the use of another mediator. 

A Child Arrangement order will be implemented by the court and will determine where the child lives, when they spend time with each parent and what kind of contact will take place. Judges will focus on the best course of action for the child in this situation, and will take the child’s wishes, feelings, wellbeing, age, personality into account, as well as any potential impact they might predict. 

Depending on the outcome of the order, child custody payments may be required. How much these payments are will be will be determined by the parent’s income and other factors that might affect this income.


There are few more complicated and trickier to navigate situations than a divorce, particularly if the separation is less-than-amicable. If the couple has children, then things just get even more difficult. Not only are there living arrangement and child expenses to think about, but the child’s welfare is also paramount as well. In an ideal situation, you and your partner will come to a decision between yourselves. If this is proving impossible, then you will need to hire a mediator or a child custody lawyer and have the dispute settled in court.  

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.