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Child custody law in most states encourages liberal and frequent contact with both parents in a divorce situation. Usually the primary consideration for determining child custody is what is in the “best interest” of the child or children. This shifts the focus of the matter from the parents and what the parents may want.
One factor that a court may take into account is how willing each parent is to contribute and cooperate with this consideration. Should a parent attempt to undermine the other parent's role in the child's life, a judge may be less inclined to allow that parents to have residential custody, or the right to have the child or children for the majority of the time in their care.
Child custody is an important factor in any divorce or separation of a family and the “best interest” of the child or children is often on a case by case basis. The court will usually take into consideration the totality of the family situation if the parents cannot agree on this issue.