Perhaps the most crucial question to be addressed during a divorce settlement is deciding who gets custody of the children. In part, this has a lot to do with which of the parents can reliably provide the most appropriate upbringing, both financially and emotionally. In some divorces, this dispute is automatically settled by the circumstances that lead to the divorce, such as domestic violence.
The judge presiding over the case generally needs to address the issue only when both parents are seeking custody and cannot mutually decide on what is in the best interests of the child. It is that concern that guides the decision of the court as well; however, it may require an in-depth investigation into the lives of the parents to reach a decision on child custody. This is, however, likely to vary, depending on the state in which the case occurs.