There are many decisions that must be made when a couple divorces, and among the most important is the custody of any children involved. The children have nothing to do with the dissolution of the marriage, but often become pawns in the battle between their parents. Ultimately, what is in the best interests of the children must be the overall determining factor in any child custody award.
Former Major League Baseball player Andruw Jones is involved in a custody battle with his wife over who their son should live with. His wife filed for divorce recently after he was arrested for domestic violence for an incident in which he allegedly choked her and drug her through a garage. She is seeking primary physical custody of their son. Mr. Jones is also seeking primary physical custody and is asking that he not have to pay child support, claiming that he is the better parent for their child.
Both parents in the case above are requesting primary physical custody of their son. Physical custody is the determination of which parent a child will live with the majority of the time. This parent is considered the custodial parent. The other parent is the non-custodial parent and typically will retain visitation rights, as well as joint legal custody. Legal custody is the right to have a say in decisions regarding the child's education religion and health care. Many factors are considered when determining a child custody arrangement, but the ultimate determination is what is in the child's best interests. Among these factors is the need for a stable home environment, as well as excessive discipline or abuse by one of the parents. Although the domestic violence allegations in this case regard the parents, any violence committed by one of the parents may be taken into account in a custody determination.
The safety and well-being of children must be ensured when making a child custody arrangement. All behavior of the parents that may put a child's safety in question must be considered in making such a determination. Regardless of the outcome, both parents should be aware of their rights and obligations to their children and each other.
Source: TMZ, "EX-MLB STAR ANDRUW JONES Fighting Wife for Custody ... I'm the Better Parent," Mar. 24, 2013