Determining who should get custody of your children when you and your spouse are going through a divorce can be extremely difficult. Your spouse may believe that it will be best if they have full custody of your child. On the other hand, you may believe that joint custody would be best or that you should have full custody. When it comes down to it, the most important thing should always be this: what is in the best interests of the children? If you and your spouse cannot agree on who will get custody of your child, know that it will be left up to the judge involved in your divorce case to make this decision. So, what factors go into this decision? 

  1. Where the parents live. This is one aspect that a judge will consider. Is one of the parents getting the family home where the child was raised? Does one parent live in a particularly good school district or live closer to the child’s activities, sports, or friends? These are all factors a judge will want to know when making this decision.
  2. The child’s age. Although many judges have moved away from automatically siding with the mother in child custody cases, if the child is particularly young and still nursing, this could play a factor in where the child resides. 
  3. The relationships between the parents and the child. Was one parent out of touch with their child before the child custody case came into play? If this is the case, a judge will want to know if one parent was already the primary caregiver when the other one was not around. 
  4. The child has a preference. A judge will want to know the child’s preference if they are old enough. While this may not be the deciding factor, it is extremely important. A judge will need to consider whether a child does not want to live with a parent because it is truly the best decision or whether the child is simply hoping to live with the “fun” parent. 

Child custody cases are not always so simple and working with a lawyer, like a child custody lawyer can help you navigate the legal process of child custody. When you have a lawyer you can trust, they can help fight for your rights as a parent while working toward your child’s best interests. If you would like to see how a lawyer can help you with your child custody case, find a local law firm today.