What to Do When You Fear for Your Kids' Safety During Visitation, Your Most Commons Child Custody Questions, Answered, Overcoming the Obstacles of Gaining Sole Custody of Your Kids, How to Win a Child Custody Battle in Court. In some jurisdictions, the courts will look to maintain consistency. How the children will be affected by either continuing the current custody arrangement or disrupting the arrangement. Parental employment is weighed in several ways because while employment often means better financial ability to care for the child, it also means spending time apart from the most important factors in child custody. Each parent's ability to provide for the children's physical needs, emotional wellness, and medical care. What Is the Chid Custody Best Interest Standard? Judges take great care in ensuring the child’s preference is truly what they want. The most important factors in child custody courts now prioritize the quality of parenting and maintaining consistency for children in their purview. As children grow older, the courts tend to be more willing to consider alternative arrangements. Instead, a judge thinks about the health issue in combination with parenting capacity, parenting skills, and the overall parent-child relationship. Courts don’t want to place children in a situation where they have only one parent most of the time. A custody case … Keep reading to learn what things judges look for in different types of child custody case. Your family lawyer will highlight everything about your case that a judge may weigh in their decision. How has the child reacted to the divorce? What Can You Do If the Court Took Away the Custody of Your Kids? A mental illness won’t disqualify a parent from custody. Determining the Best Interests of the Child. The quality of the relationship between the children and each parent. But sometimes parents need help highlighting what they bring to the table. If you’re about to go through a child custody case, you may need a family law attorney’s help. Gone are the days where mothers received priority above all else in child custody cases. Though, no laws currently regulate how the judge should weigh the child’s choice. The children's wishes (if they are considered old enough and able to express their own desires). Each parent's ability to provide for the children's physical needs, emotional wellness, and medical care. Many separated parents wonder whether they can complete the child custody process on their own through trial and error. The ability of each parent to provide a stable, loving environment. The child’s age (depending on if the child falls within infant and toddler, school-aged, or teenage category). Children’s opinions tend to carry more weight when they’re older. A court may consider whether each parent is: Merely being an earner doesn’t qualify or disqualify a parent from their custody preferences on its own. As with all other factors, judges consider employment among all the evidence to produce a balanced decision centered on the best interests of the most important factors in child custody. Child Custody and Support. How will you support them after the divorce? How would your child describe the ways you demonstrate love for them? American Bar Association. Who is most involved in the child’s formal education? The five factors listed above are some of the most heavily weighted in the decision. Two parent agreements are preferable. Child's medical needs. Here are five of the most heavily-weighted factors in a child custody case: A child’s custody preferences are almost always considered in the proceeding. Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. For the most part, yes. Your. Short or long-term mental health issues will play a role in custody decisions because states consider mental health to impact the best interests of the child. wonder whether they can complete the child custody process on their own through trial and error. A child may have special medical needs that may require extraordinary medical expenses. Are you about to go in front of a judge? To learn more about what to expect in your case, research the child custody laws in your state. While there's no hard-and-fast rule, courts generally prefer to maintain consistency, especially when it comes to young children. You’ll see a theme throughout these characteristics: the child. The parent’s ability and willingness to support the child if custody is lost. Child Welfare Information Gateway. However, in the majority of contested child custody cases, the judge determines what would be best for the children, despite both parents' good intentions and competing wishes.. Census data shows that, Are you about to go in front of a judge? The court may also consider the opinions of character witnesses on behalf of each parent. Not all parent-child relationships are straightforward. The Most Important Factors Considered in a Child Custody Hearing Special Needs. The condition of the living accommodation found in each of the parent’s home. Andrea Rice is an award-winning journalist and a freelance writer, editor, and fact checker specializing in health and wellness. 3. And while it's impossible to predict exactly how the judge will rule in your case, you can anticipate that the judge has one goal in mind: determining your children's best interests. Your children's ages. Who spends the most time socializing the child, teaching them manners, etc.? Many parents find this legal jargon confusing. Moreover, no court wants to force most important factors in child custody into a poor custody arrangement. The mental and physical health of each parent, as well as the children. Don't all parents want what's best for their children? In some cases, a custody evaluator takes over the process in the most important factors in child custody. Tips to Help Single Fathers Get Child Custody, How to Protect Your Children When an Ex Uses Substances Around Them, How to Have Alternatives and Modify Your Family's Visitation Schedule, How Custody Is Decided Based on a Parent's Living Accommodations, Before You Agree to Try Child Custody Mediation, Prepare to Answer Different Questions at Your Child Custody Hearing, Win Child Custody by Showing the Courts That You're the Better Parent, Everything Dads Need to Know About Child Support, How Grandparents Can Get Custody of Grandchildren, Strategies for How to Appear in Court for Winning Full Child Custody, Determining the Best Interests of the Child. After all, who knows your family better than you? Whether either parent has been providing the majority of the children's care up to this point. The willingness of each parent to support and facilitate the children's ongoing relationship with the other parent. However, they are not the only factors that can influence legal custody disputes. Beyond fundamental child custody rights, there are no hard and fast rules in child custody because every custody case is different and each state has different statutes governing custody issues. An illness may impact a parent’s ability to care for a child full-time and issues associated with illness may impact the stability of the household. The level of adjustment and attachment between the children and their home, school environment, and community/neighborhood. Courts want to know about a proposed custody or visitation schedule and whether both parties find it agreeable before granting a custody order. Gone are the days where mothers received priority above all else in child custody cases. But child custody courts aren’t interested in pitting one parent against another; they’re interested in upholding your children’s best interests. ), Merely being an earner doesn’t qualify or disqualify a parent from their custody preferences on its own. will highlight everything about your case that a judge may weigh in their decision. Short or long-term mental health issues will play a role in custody decisions because states consider mental health to impact the.