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Judge determines Usher will retain custody of son

Many legal issues may arise when divorce proceedings are initiated. Child custody, asset division, child support, and alimony must all be agreed to by the parties or a judge will impose what she believes is best. However, these issues do not disappear once a final determination is made. Instead, some issues, like child custody, can be challenged when an event or a series of events makes the child's custodial parent unfit to care for the child. A recent incident involving a celebrity father helps illustrate when such challenges can arise.

The superstar singer Usher recently had the permanent custody he has over his five-year old son challenged by his ex-wife. The dispute arose after the child got his hand stuck in a swimming pool drain and nearly drowned. Fortunately, two individuals working in the home were able to pull him free and perform CPR. Usher was not home at the time and was instead at a recording studio. Usher's ex-wife filed for an emergency temporary custody hearing, but a judge ruled that Usher will retain permanent custody of the child.

When custody is contested, whether during a divorce or afterwards, a judge will look to several factors to determine which parent is best able to provide for the child's needs. Amongst these factors are each parent's parenting ability, whether the parent is mentally unstable, each parent's income, the stability of each parent's home, and the emotional bond between the child and the parent. In short, a judge will ensure the child's best interest is protected and he will decide accordingly.

An experienced family law attorney can help parents come to an agreement about child custody. Parents can negotiate joint custody and may agree to equal visitation. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the attorney will fight to ensure the child's best interests are protected. Such an attorney will help the parent he represents put forth a showing of why the parent is best suited to care for the child. Then, the family can focus on getting adjusted to their new living arrangements and moving on with life.

Source: ABC News, "Tameka Raymond: Usher's 'Status' Helped Him Win Custody," Luchina Fisher, Aug. 15, 2013

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