Fans of Bethenny Frankel in Illinois probably are well aware that she is going through a bitter child custody battle as a part of her divorce from Jason Hoppy. Frankel, who is a former reality television star and talk show host, filed for divorce in January of 2013. She is seeking primary custody of the couple's 4-year-old daughter. Her husband is seeking joint custody. Frankel testified in court recently and talked about the verbal abuse and other behavior her husband has displayed since she filed for divorce.
Child custody is a major issue as many couples go through a divorce. Sometimes, parents can reach an agreement as to child custody and parenting time, but others, like Frankel and her husband, will need to go through child custody litigation and have a judge decide for them. When making a decision regarding custody, it is always based on what is in the best interests of the child.
There are a number of factors that a judge will take into consideration when making that determination. These factors include, but are not limited to, the age of the child and their wishes, who has primarily cared for the child, the mental and physical health of the parents, the child's interaction with other people living in the parent's home, the child's adjustment to schools and others.
The relevant factors are weighed, and then a judge makes decisions regarding whether one parent will have sole custody or whether the parents will have joint custody, as well as who will have legal and physical custody. Parents can also reach these determinations on their own through mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution instead of leaving the decisions up to a judge.
Many parents in Illinois have to deal with child custody as they go through a divorce. These decisions can be very difficult, and it is important to understand the legal factors that go into child custody determinations so the best interests of the child are being met.
Source: ABC News, "Inside Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy's emotional custody battle testimony," Michael Rothman, May 29, 2014