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What factors can affect child custody decisions?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

Child custody is one of the primary topics usually discussed during divorce proceedings. It is also a common source of disputes between parents, especially when they have conflicting perspectives on how to raise their children. Fortunately, the law has provisions regarding how to finalize child custody decisions.

The court could interfere whenever a divorcing couple encounters problems settling matters concerning their child. In these situations, the court considers varying factors to determine a setup that benefits the child. The court could use the following factors when approaching child custody matters:

  • The child’s physical and emotional safety
  • The child’s development and behavior
  • Each parent’s capacity to provide for their child
  • The child’s views and opinions, if they are mature enough to express them
  • Family dynamics
  • The child’s relationships with other family members, such as siblings
  • Each parent’s willingness to allow contact between their child and the other parent
  • Potential threats of manipulation and coercion by the parents
  • Each parent’s active involvement in the child’s life
  • The child’s home, school and social life
  • Stability of the environment surrounding the child’s life
  • Each party’s mental and physical health
  • Cultural factors present in the child’s upbringing
  • Each parent’s compliance with taking parenting education programs

The court must also maintain impartiality during child custody discussions. Additionally, the judge could take various measures if they require additional information about the family’s situation. The case might require evaluations or assessments, especially if they detect signs of violence or abuse.

The most appropriate decision always benefits the child

The court could order specific arrangements because they serve the child. Evidence during proceedings usually supports these setups. Additionally, the court could order supervised or restricted visitations if the situation calls for it. Some instances could cause the court to deny relocation if it could harm the child.

Eventually, the court’s intervention could vary, depending on the family’s circumstances. The judge remains obligated to prioritize the child’s best interest regardless of disputes between parents.