When the parents can agree upon custody, the court leaves it up to them. The couple works with their lawyers, and it becomes a part of the final divorce decree. However, when they cannot agree, then others get involved.
One way of resolving this issue is through informal negotiations between the lawyers. Another way is through the intervention of a mediator. When all else fails, the final recourse is the court.
When There Are Complications
The decision-making process is more complicated when the parents are not married. In the case of two biological or adopted parents, the couple decides child custody, but the judge may exercise discretion and change that decision.
And sometimes, a relative wants custody. In this case, the relative must petition the court with a final decision coming from the bench. The overarching judicial principle in custody issues is always what serves the best interest of the child. For guidance that helps you through a custody battle, look to experienced lawyers for legal services.