Going through a divorce is stressful enough on its own. When you and your spouse also have children together, your stress level may rise exponentially. You might be constantly worrying about their well-being and how they are holding up mentally. Additionally, you might be worried about obtaining custody.
To decide child custody, the judge will look over a number of factors. When reviewing all the aspects of the divorce the judge will determine custody based on the best interest of the child.
What is in the best interest of the child?
Determining what is in the best interest of the child is the standard used in most cases to decide custody status. When defining what is in the best interest of the child, the judge will look at some of the following factors:
- Parenting ability: The judge will determine if each parent requesting custody can financially and emotionally meet the child’s needs.
- Stability: The judge and court want the child’s life to remain as consistent as possible. They do not wish to interfere with the child’s school placement, or routine in general.
- Primary caregiver: If one parent spent more time taking care of the child than the other parent, they may be more likely to receive custody.
- Age of the child: When children are younger, the court may decide to give custody to whichever parent is the primary caregiver. Depending on the age of the child, they may ask who they would prefer to live with.
- Safety: The judge will take into consideration if there is previous evidence of spousal, alcohol or drug abuse. The parent who is guilty of these acts may not receive custody.
If you are going through a divorce and are worried about gaining custody of your child, speaking with an experienced family law attorney can help. They may be able to gather evidence and necessary paperwork to show you are fit to be a parent.