Divorce has to tackle a number of very serious, very difficult issues, child custody probably topping the list. Children are unwilling participants in a divorce, which is why making the best decision with respect to child custody is so vital to their well-being. Because divorce can be contentious and not so nice, child custody matters often get caught in the cross-hairs and the child's interests are put on the back burner. The court's role in custody matters is to ensure that this does not occur. The court looks at all child custody matters in light of what is in the best interest of the child, and makes determinations based on that doctrine. Depending on the nature and circumstances of the divorce, issues dealing with child custody can become extremely complex.
For instance, actor Jason Patric is embroiled in a child custody battle with his ex-girlfriend over his son. The ex-girlfriend, who currently has legal custody of their child, thereby making her the custodial parent, contends that Patric should not have anything to do with their son, because he merely acted as a sperm donor. Moreover, she contends that based on their relationship, there was never any intention of Patric to be a part of their son's life. Patric, as the biological father, wants to have a relationship with his son and took the fight to court to get gain access to the child. The latest court ruling reversed a prior court ruling finding that Patric had no parental right, so the battle continues.
In complex child custody cases, the outcome is never certain because the courts are inundated with information, and must make a decision based on that information, and what is in the best interest of the child. However, there are many child custody configurations that can be looked at to ensure that the child's needs are met, as well as ensuring that both parents can see the child where appropriate. Emotions tend to run high in divorce in general, but they tend to run even higher when child custody matters are involved.