If you’re heading into a child custody case, you know that the court looks at a lot of different factors to determine how to assign custody rights. But do you know what those factors are? Understanding what the court looks for can help you move forward and strive to protect your time with the children.
The following is by no means an exhaustive list of everything the court will consider, as each case is unique. However, it is a good place to get started and can give you an idea of what the court looks at. Some of the big factors include:
- Each parent’s physical home and the living accommodations the children can expect.
- The ages of the different children at the time of the ruling.
- If there is any evidence of neglect or abuse, or if one parent has falsely accused the other of such things in the past.
- What the children want, if deemed old enough to have an opinion on such matters.
- If the court can make a ruling that allows for consistency in the child’s life.
- If one parent has been the main caretaker prior to the ruling.
- Each parent’s ability to give the children a “stable, loving environment.”
- The physical health of the parents.
- The mental health of the parents.
- Any criminal records.
- The relationships that the children already have with each parent.
- What the parents want and what they have requested of the court.
None of these factors will lead to a ruling all on their own, but all may be considered together. Make sure you know what rights you have.