There are many things that a court will take into consideration when it comes to determining custody in a divorce. Understanding the custody considerations can help to provide you with a clearer view into the possible outcome of a court case. It is crucial to ensure that you understand the various custody considerations during your divorce process. Every case is different, and the court will take this into account when they decide on custody specifications. A divorce attorney is an important asset to help you to achieve the best possible outcome for your divorce. Here are a few of the most common custody considerations.
Age of Children
Most courts will consider the age of the children when they determine custody arrangements. This is largely due to the fact that children of different ages will have different requirements. A court will consider that younger children certainly need more time and care than teenagers and will keep this in mind when identifying custody arrangements. The number of children may also be a factor that the court takes into account.
The wishes of the parent are likely to have an impact on the decision of the court. For example, a parent that doesn’t wish to have custody or spend time with their children is unlikely to be granted custody. If each parent desires joint custody, which provides an equal responsibility for the wellbeing and decisions for the child’s life, this will likely be granted. If one parent wishes for sole legal custody, it is likely to be a much more complicated process, where the court will look into the other considerations of the specific case. The type of divorce will also impact the process. A contested divorce will follow a different process than an uncontested divorce.
Mental and Physical Health of Parents
A common court consideration will be the mental and physical health of the parents. The court needs to feel confident that the parent that is given custody will be capable, both mentally and physically, of taking care of the children. A parent that is frail or ill may have a disadvantage when it comes to obtaining custody. Mental and physical health will be a large deciding factor when the court decides on the various custody arrangements.
Continuity and Stability
Routine and continuity are relatively important for a growing child. A court will likely try to make the custody arrangement that will provide the least amount of disruption to a child’s life. This may mean giving custody to the parent that will remain in the house where the children grew up or where they will still live in the same area. The continuity and stability of the child’s lifestyle is certain to be a large consideration of the court.
If a child has special needs, the court will certainly take this into account. They will likely give custody to whichever parent is best equipped to care for the child. This may be a result of special needs for transportation, healthcare, or other factors, depending on the situation.
The past history of each parent will likely be examined when the court is deciding on custody. This will likely be a huge custody consideration. A parent that has had alleged or confirmed past instances of neglect, abuse, or violence will be much less likely to receive custody. This will likely be one of the largest factors that a court will take into account when deciding on custody arrangements.
The education of the child will also be an important consideration when the court decides on custody. In order to provide continuity and stability, it is likely that the court will lean in favor of a decision that will allow the child to remain in the same school district, rather than forcing them to switch to a new one.
The court will consider the various work obligations of each parent. This is generally to determine the amount of time that they will have available to spend with their children. They will also consider how well the parent will be able to provide for the children. A parent that is virtually never at home will be less likely to obtain custody than a parent that is able to spend more time with the children.
Quality of Relationship
The court is likely to look at the relationships between the children and each parent. If the children are old enough, they are likely to interview the children in order to get a sense for this relationship. Parents that have had great relationships with their children before the divorce are more likely to obtain custody.
This tends to be more common when the children are older and the court deems that they are better equipped to make decisions for themselves. During a divorce, the court is likely to consider the wishes of each child regarding the custody arrangement.
The court may consider the friends and relationships of the child. They often will want to provide the children with a situation in which they are still able to maintain their close relationships. Minimizing disruption is often a key component in deciding on the best custody arrangement for the children.
The court will look at the extracurricular activities that the child is involved in. Many extracurricular activities can be critical for a child’s future success. If there is a solution to the custody arrangement that won’t disrupt a child’s regular extracurricular activities, the court may lean more in that direction.
There are many factors that can impact a court’s decision when it comes to the final custody arrangement. Ultimately, a court is likely to decide on a solution that will minimize disruption to a child’s life as much as possible. Consulting with a divorce attorney is critical in ensuring that you obtain the best possible outcome for your divorce. This is especially crucial when children and custody considerations are involved. To learn more about the various custody considerations that are common during a divorce, contact our experienced team at Ammon Nelson Law today!