SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts. Making decisions regarding child custody can be among the toughest negotiations individuals will face. Courts use the “best interests of the child” standard to make child custody determinations. Yet, what is in the best interest of one child may not necessarily work for another. An infant will have different needs than a teenager. Individual judges and families are required to consider the needs of children and make decisions that work. However, sometimes those decisions can be challenging, especially in cases where children have exceptionalities.
Even movies have dramatized the difficulty that can arise when parents have diametrically opposing views about how their children should be raised. In the film “Gifted” a family struggles to determine what is in the best interests of a gifted child who can solve differential equations. The child’s grandmother represents the deceased mother’s interests, claiming that the child will be better served by attending a private school in the northeast, while the child’s working class father just wants her to have a “regular childhood.” The New York Times reviewed the film, noting that the court case fight for the child’s best interest bogs “down the story.”
Child custody disputes can bog down much more than just a movie. If you’re getting divorced, differences of opinion in how a child should be raised can lead to a more protracted divorce. When a divorce drags on this manner, everyone’s life is put on hold. These disputes may require long negotiations and compromises. Dinsmore Stark: Attorneys at Law are family lawyers in Springfield, Massachusetts who understand the unique challenges families face when they disagree about what is in the best interests of the children. A child doesn’t need to be gifted or have preternatural talent in order to become the center of a fight. Parents may have disagreements about religious upbringing. One parent may want the child to engage in sports, while the other parent may feel that music education is more valuable.
Parents of gifted children may also have to pay more in child support. According to NJ.com, the divorced parents of a gifted child could be made to pay more money to ensure that the child receives the mentorship, classes, or other support needed to develop a talent. For instance, normally, child support can be used to cover a child’s extracurricular activities. Yet, if a child requires special tutors or college classes, the costs may be higher.
The questions that can arise in a child custody battle can be as diverse as families are. If your child has special needs, your parenting plan will have to be designed to address those needs. Every child is different and the “best interest” standard will likely be differently applied in each case. If you and your former partner have questions about child custody, contact Dinsmore Stark: Attorneys at Law. Our Springfield, Massachusetts family lawyers can help you find a resolution that works for your family.