Who decides which of the divorced parents their children will live with?
Because a marriage is a legal partnership, its dissolution, or end, takes place by a judgment of a court. The court, then, awards custody of children after a divorce. The judge that presides over the court makes this decision, ideally keeping the best interests of the children in mind. A judge’s involvement is especially important when parents cannot agree about who should be the main caregiver for their children and provide their main home. But in the best cases, both parents and children decide together how they would like custody to be awarded, and they let the court know their preferences. Sometimes joint custody is the solution, which means that the parents share responsibility for the kids and the children divide their time equally between their mother and father and their separate homes. Most of the time, however, one parent becomes the custodial parent and the children live with her or him, while the other parent has visitation rights, which means that he or she can see the children at certain times, like on weekends or during summer vacations.