What Factors Does a Court Consider When Determining Child Custody?
- Consideration of the child’s age, gender, and emotional development
- The degree of *‘emotional attachment’* the child feels toward each parent
- The child’s ability to adjust to family arrangements and school environments
- Sometimes the child’s preferences, if they are of legal age or are deemed capable of rendering sound legal decisions—usually in the 12-16 range in some states
Parental Factors to Determine Primary Child Custody
- How involved each parent has been in the child’s upbringing
- The physical, emotional, social, and financial stability of each parent
- The willingness of each parent to act cooperatively with the other parent
- The geographic residence of each parent
- Any history of child abuse or domestic violence
Again, each factor must be analyzed by the court in the light of the child’s best interest. A court will not grant custody to a parent simply because they are financially more capable, the parent must be able to prove why the child would benefit if they are granted primary custody.
What is Primary Custody?
Primary custody (or full custody) refers to an arrangement wherein one parent assumes all or nearly all for the child-rearing responsibilities after a divorce. The definition of primary custody may differ according to jurisdiction.
Thus, if a parent is granted primary custody of a child it usually means that the child lives with them and that they are responsible for making important decisions for the child. The ‘non-custodial parent’ usually makes financial contributions through child support, and may be granted partial or limited visitation rights depending on the circumstances.
The bottom line when seeking custody, you to clearly need to understand the factors judges and case workers consider when determine custody and then be ready to prove or answer those points.
What other factors have you found to determine primary child custody? What other questions were asked in your child custody case?
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