When children are involved, the biggest consideration in divorce is typically protecting the child's best interests. The best interests of the child are always the determining factor where child custody is concerned -- his or her mental health, physical health, happiness, security, and emotional health are of the utmost importance.
One famous couple is undergoing divorce and the custody of their 16-year-old daughter will have to be determined. California fans of Clint Eastwood may be surprised to learn that he and his wife of 17 years are splitting. Eastwood's wife, a news reporter, is seeking physical custody of the couple's daughter, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce.
When physical custody is awarded to a parent, that parent is given the right to provide everyday care for their child. This usually means the child will live with the parent who has physical custody. Most often, the other parent will be given visitation rights -- meaning they will be able to spend exclusive time with their child at arranged dates.
The decision to give physical custody should always be made with the child's best interests in mind. When determining a child's best interests, extensive analyses of the parents are usually conducted, which include a look at the stability, mental and physical health of the parent, along with both parent's possible histories of drug, alcohol or parental abuse.
Determining the child's best interests is sometimes difficult -- it sometimes requires parents to consult with a legal professional to pursue physical custody of their child, and do what it is best for that child's development.
Source: The Coffs Coast Advocate, "Clint Eastwood's wife files for divorce," Oct. 25, 2013