For parents in a custody dispute, the court often must determine who gets legal and physical custody. A number of factors contribute to that decision, and many parents do not realize that. When you learn about the things that the court considers, it makes it easier to estimate who might get custody.
There are a few elements that every judge will consider.
The health of each parent
If either parent has a serious health condition that affects their ability to be a care provider, the judge considers that in the process.
The primary caretaker before the divorce
Another important consideration is who served as the primary caretaker before the divorce. If one parent handled most of the appointments, meals, baths and bedtimes before the separation, the court strives to preserve that relationship. The primary caretaker often receives primary physical custody to maintain consistency for the children.
Each parent’s financial situation
The financial affidavit submitted as part of the divorce applies to the custody ruling as well. If either parent is financially unstable or simply not financially sound enough to provide for the children as a primary caregiver, primary physical custody goes to the other parent.
History of abuse or addiction
Courts consider a history of abuse or addiction in custody determinations as well. Parents with any history of abuse or addiction typically receive visitation, sometimes supervised, while the other parent receives primary physical custody.
These are a few things that affect the custody decision. The more information you can provide in court, the easier it is to determine the right custody situation.