What factors do courts take into consideration when determining whom gets child custody?
The best interests of the child is the main priority when determining custody issues in nearly all courts; however, the best interest of the child will depend on certain issues, such as
- The age of the child, gender, mental and physical health
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- Social factors such as the parent’s lifestyle
- History of any child abuse
- Child endangerment (second-hand smoke)
- The bond between the parent and child, as well as the parent's capacity to give the child direction
- The parent's capacity to afford the child with shelter, food, clothing, and medical care
- The established living routine of the child (school, community, home; religious beliefs)
- The child's schooling in the present condition
- How the child will be effected once the current situation changes
- The preference of the child, if the child is old enough to make that decision (these may vary from court to court and sometimes it is at the desecration of the judge).
The majority of courts incline to emphasis on which parent is likely to offer the child a constant environment, and which parent will best promote the child's bond with the other parent. With young children, this may suggest giving custody to the parent who has been the child's main caregiver. In the case of older children, this possibly will mean granting custody to the parent who is better able to encourage steadiness in schooling, religious institutions, neighborhood life; peer relations.
If you are the parent seeking custody of your child/children you need an experienced, knowledgeable family law attorney whom has dealt with countless child custody and child visitation cases. Further, an attorney that obtains results for their clients. With the Orange County child custody attorneys located in Orange, California you can rest assured your family legal needs will be protected.