How can a parent get primary custody?

If you and your spouse cannot agree on joint custody or if a judge finds that it will not work, the judge might give primary custody to one parent. The other parent usually has the right to visit the children regularly and often. If, after talking with a mediator, you and your spouse cannot decide which one of you should have custody, the judge will decide after hearing both sides. A lawyer can help you present your case. Parents may want o use experts as witnesses to help them get custody. For example, a parent may believe that a child living with the other parent would be emotionally neglected. If so, that parent may want to hire a psychologist to look into the matter and possibly testify in court. A parent also may ask the court to order a psychiatric examination of the other parent if his or her emotional state is questionable. Under special circumstances, one parent may ask the court to stop the other parent from seeing the children. This is granted only when the other parent is seriously unable, physically or emotionally, to care for the children and when with him or her would be sure to harm the children.