If you and your spouse share children and are about to embark on a divorce, the question you are both likely asking yourselves is who will get custody and how is that determined. In fact, this is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce and usually the one that keeps most divorcing parents up at night. However, while you will never be able to predict how a judge will rule on your case, understanding the factors that determine custody will give you some insight into how these decisions are made. First and foremost, the judge’s primary goal is to do what is in the best interests of your children. What does “best interests” mean?
Below is a list of some of the factors that play a part in determining custody:
- If your children are particularly young, the courts will be more focused on maintaining consistency. For older children, there is often a greater willingness to consider alternative arrangements.
- You and your spouse will likely also be asked what your own wishes are. This does not mean either of you will get exactly what you want, but the courts still like to have an understanding of your preferences.
- The quality of the relationship the children have with each parent.
- The mental and physical health of each parent and the children.
- The willingness of each parent to help facilitate the children’s ongoing relationship with the other parent. The courts do not look kindly on those who make it difficult for their children to maintain a relationship with both parents.
- If one parent has provided the majority of the children’s care up to this point, the courts might look to maintain consistency. For example, if you provide most of the care and your ex-spouse travels a lot for work, this will likely impact the judge’s decision.
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable, loving environment. Generally, to prove this, both parents will be asked to submit to a child custody evaluation to learn more about this aspect.
- The living accommodations that each parent’s home can provide. For example, will your children have their own rooms?
- The ability of each parent to provide for the children’s physical needs, emotional wellness, and medical care. For this, a judge might ask for the opinions of character witnesses.
- The level of adjustment and attachment between the children and their environment, including their school, home, and neighborhood.
- If the children are old enough to express their own desires, they will have a chance to do so. This does not mean their preference will be granted, however.
- If there is any evidence of abuse, domestic violence, or neglect by either parent, this will be a big determining factor.
Child Custody Attorney in Katy
A lot is on the line in a child custody case and the situation can get emotional and stressful. This is why you need a skilled child custody attorney on your side to assist you throughout the process. At Fischer Law Firm P.C., our compassionate and experienced child custody attorney in Katy is dedicated to assisting clients throughout this process and to protecting their rights as a parent.
Get started on your child custody case today and contact our law office at (346) 444-1050 to schedule a case review.