Child custody is one of the most heavily contested issues divorcing spouses will face throughout the process of dissolving their marriage. When left in the hands of a judge, several factors will be considered when determining which arrangement most effectively serves the best interests of your child.
Of course, every parent wants what is best for their children, but in the eyes of the law, those words carry a different meaning. Despite the fact that both parents want what is best for their children, a judge might find that one parent is more prepared than the other to serve as the child’s custodial parent based on some of the evaluated factors.
Below are some of the factors a judge will usually consider when determining child custody:
- The wishes of each parent: You will not necessarily get what you want, but both you and your spouse will be able to express your wishes and the judge will consider them.
- The age of the child: Younger children usually require more care, so if one parent is never home due to work or other scheduling issues, he or she will likely be unable to meet the needs of a younger child. On the other hand, how often a parent is home might not be as big an issue for a teenager.
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable home environment: A judge will also examine each parent’s ability to provide a home environment that is not only stable and safe, but loving as well.
- The overall mental and physical health of each parent: In examining how capable a parent is to care for a child, a judge will also take a look at both parents’ physical and mental health.
- The willingness of each parent to cooperate with the other: Co-parenting with an ex-spouse might be somewhat of a challenge, but since the court believes the involvement of both parents to be in the best interests of a child, a parent who is unsupportive of the other’s relationship with their child will not be favorably looked upon.
- The wishes of the child: Much like the wishes of a parent, the wishes of a child will not necessarily be fulfilled, but a judge will still give them a chance to vocalize their preference in court. If the child is old enough and relatively mature, a judge might give his or her wishes a little more weight.
- A confirmed history of abuse or neglect by either parent: If either parent was ever abusive or neglectful, it will have a major impact on a judge’s decision.
Contrary to what many still believe, gender is not a factor in child custody cases. Regardless if you are a mother or a father, you will have an equal chance of obtaining the custody arrangement you are seeking.
Schedule a Consultation with a Child Custody Attorney Today!
If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, do not hesitate to obtain the skilled legal assistance you need to navigate this sensitive legal matter. At Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC, our family law team is experienced in handling a vast variety of custody and visitation issues.
Contact our law office today at (731) 256-0023 to request a case review with a member of our legal team!