How to Determine Who Gets Child Custody

According to a mediate family law firm, fighting over child custody can prove both painful and difficult. Usually you have several options for settling a child custody case. If possible, agree to an arrangement through mediation and negotiations before the case goes to court. If you do have to go to court and fear the judge won’t award you custody of your children, understand that the judge will consider several factors when making custody-related decisions.

  • The child’s well-being will prove paramount when it comes to custody. The judge will keep this in the forefront of her mind, and it therefore should function as the most significant factor when you and the other parent try to agree on these arrangements.

  • If your work takes too much of your time and you child will have to spend a lot of time with a babysitter, the court might decide to give custody to the other parent. The judge usually prefers to give custody to the parent who can spend more time with the child.
  • Courts prefer parents who provide stability and can offer the child a family-focused environment. The child should have close ties with grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts. Proving you provide a family-based environment and will have a stable home should prove a good argument in front of the judge.
  • Many courts also make religion a deciding factor. Judges will often favor parents who have religious ties and exhibit high moral standards.
  • The court might ask children old enough to testify about their personal preferences regarding custody arrangements. The judge might ask them to describe the relationship they have with their parents and where they prefer to live. Their answers do not always coincide with the final decision of the judge, but the official generally does take their opinions into consideration.
  • Courts take into account everything that contributes to a safe and emotionally stable environment for the child. Parents granted custody must prove they have enough money to provide children with food and clothes and can ensure a loving environment.
  • If one of the parents has taken care of the child before the custody trial, the court will likely feel inclined to continue that relationship and so as to avoid altering the child’s life and habits as little as possible.
  • The feelings of the parents come second to those of the children. The court will think about the child’s best interest first and foremost.
  • Keep in mind that family law differs from state to state. Ask a child custody lawyer about your chances of getting custody.
  • Never get angry in court or in front of the child. Also, never bash the other parent in front of the child. Understand that children are very emotional, and irrespective of what happens between you and the other parent the child has an emotional attachment to both of you.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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