In this article I set out frequently asked child custody questions for parents who are struggling in the aftermath of a failed relationship. If you have specific concerns, it is best to seek advice from an attorney but clearly it is very useful to inform yourself as much as possible first to ensure that you get the most from your attorney and keep a check on the legal costs which can be prohibitive in a messy break up situation. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding child custody, as well as their answers. If you have specific concerns, it is best to seek advice from an attorney but clearly it is very useful to inform yourself as much as possible first to ensure that you get the most from your attorney and keep a check on the legal costs which can be prohibitive in a messy break up situation. What is a child custody proceeding? A child custody proceeding is the expression used to describe any court case concerning adoption, custody, child protection, guardianship, cessation of parental rights, and/or placement of the child. How is it decided who gets custody? The essential factor in deciding custody is determining what is in the best interest of the child. In most cases, it is believed that it is best for the child to have regular contact with both parents. The parent who is more prepared to meet these terms is likely to become the custodial parent. Is custody always awarded to the mother? The court ultimately determines who gets custody of the child, it can be awarded to the mother, to the father, or a joint custody agreement can be made. It all depends on what is in the best interest of the child and the overriding factor is the judgment of the court as to what is best for the child. Can the child decide who he/she wants to live with? Where allowed by law, the child can explain his/her preference and the reason for this to a judge. The judge can use this information as a factor when determining custody. This information may help influence the custody case; however the ultimate decision is made on what would be in the best interest of the child. Learn more about child custody questions, joint custody of children, preparing for a court hearing and child custody laws at my blog.Check out child support guidelines and income shares child support model at http://ChildJointCustody.com ,an informational site all about child custody and get your FREE child Custody book.