Parents involved in the divorce process often request a child custody agreement that is motivated by their own self-interests, such as hurting their former spouse or receiving the highest amount of child support possible. Parents should instead seek an agreement that is in the best interests of their children.
Television host Sherri Shepherd and her husband recently separated and are on their way to divorcing each other. Her husband filed for the separation after almost three years of marriage. The couple is currently expecting a child, which is being carried by a surrogate. Her husband is seeking full legal and physical custody of the child, while seeking to have Shepherd retain minimal visitation rights. Additionally, he is requesting spousal support and a court order preventing Shepherd from interfering with the child after he is born. He is also asking that the prenuptial agreement that the couple entered into should not be recognized due to fraud.
In this case, Ms. Shepherd's estranged husband is seeking full legal and physical custody of their expected child. The child custody arrangement can be agreed to by the spouses, or ordered by the court. Typically, a court will grant primary physical custody to one parent, while providing extensive visitation rights to the other parent and granting legal custody as well, which allows a parent to make decisions concerning a child's education, religion and health. Other types of custody arrangements may be ordered if circumstances warrant, including split custody or joint custody. Ultimately, the arrangement that is created should be based on a determination of what is in the best interests of the children involved. There are many factors included in this determination, and all factors are weighed together to assess the best custody situation.
Parents or prospective parents going through the divorce process should be careful to pursue a child custody agreement that is in the best interests of their children, not themselves. It is important that they keep their child's interests in mind and abide by whatever arrangement is ordered.
Source: People, "Sherri Shepherd's Husband Files for Separation, Seeks Custody of Their Unborn Child," K. C. Blumm, May 9, 2014