What Factors Do the State Consider When Awarding Child Custody?
If you have children, whether you are considering a divorce, or in the midst of one, child custody is likely one of your major concerns. First, you should never progress through any level of a divorce proceeding without an experienced and highly trained attorney. Without a lawyer, your chances of obtaining child custody decrease drastically, especially if your soon to be ex-spouse has his or her own counsel.
Following is information on the factors the court looks at when granting child custody:
- The age, sex, and religion of the child
- The character and capacity of each parent
- The wishes of a deceased parent, if there is one
- The preference of the minor if he or she is old enough to have a preference
- Whether either parent has remarried
- Whether one parent lives far apart from the other
- Whether either spouse has a history of emotional or physical abuse
- Whether either spouse has a history of substance abuse
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable environment for the child
- The ability of each parent to nurture the physical, emotional, and intellectual health of the child
- Whether the child has any siblings and whether awarding custody to one parent would divide the child from his or her siblings
Ultimately, when deciding who deserves child custody, the court prioritizes the welfare and best interests of the child. A zealous and committed legal advocate can help you protect your best interests and those of your child.