Child custody and visitation issues can quickly turn a divorce into a contested legal battle. It appears that is the case for reality star Bethenny Frankel and her estranged husband. In her divorce petition, the reality star requested primary custody of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter and child support. She has also asked that he pay medical and dental bills, and for exclusive use of the marital residence. In response to the petition, her husband has requested all of the same items – including primary custody of their daughter and child support.
These types of disputes are not limited to the rich and famous. Whether parents are contemplating a divorce, or in the midst of divorce, the upmost importance is the welfare and safety of their children. If parents are unable to reach an agreement over child custody and visitation rights, courts may be called upon to make those decisions. If you are currently in a child custody dispute, a Worchester family law attorney would advise you that courts decide disputes according to a child’s best interests.
As previously discussed in our Massachusetts family law blog, courts look at several factors to determine what is in a child’s best interests. These factors include an examination into which of the parents have been the child’s primary caretaker, and the physical and mental health of the parents. If a child is old enough, courts may take his or her wishes into consideration. A good relationship with both parents is generally presumed to be in the best interests of the child.
Source: TMZ, “Bethenny Frankel hubby declares divorce war,” Jan. 24, 2013.