If you are pursuing custody of your children, you might be wondering how a judge renders such a major decision. After all, both parents believe they know what is best for their children. To get a better understanding of what the law means when it refers to the best interests of the children, continue reading.
The Best Interests of the Children
When determining child custody, a judge will examine several factors before ordering an arrangement that effectively supports the best interests of the children. It does not mean both parents do not have good intentions, but rather that one living environment is better suited for the children. For example, if one party’s work schedule is too unpredictable or demanding, this will be a factor that might influence whether he or she is an appropriate custodial parent.
Here are some additional factors a judge will consider when determining child custody:
- The age of the children
- The preference of each parent
- The bond the children have with each parent
- The physical and mental wellbeing of each parent and the children
- Each parent’s willingness to help facilitate the children’s relationship with their other parent
- If, up until this point, one parent provided most of the children’s care
- Each parent’s living accommodations
- If each parent has the ability to provide a loving, safe, and stable household
- The ability of each parent to care for the children’s wellness and provide for their physical needs
- The children’s attachment to their current school, home, and community
- If they are mature enough, a judge might consider the wishes of the children
- Confirmed domestic violence or abuse committed by either parent
- False allegations of abuse or neglect made by either parent against the other
Although a judge will consider the preference of each parent and the children, assuming they are old enough to express their wishes, it does not necessarily mean they will receive the arrangement they desire. Ultimately, a judge will make a decision that best supports the best interests of the children, so while preferences may be considered, they will not dictate the outcome of this process.
Moreover, this list is not exhaustive. No two cases are exactly alike, so if there are other pertinent factors in your case, a judge will examine those as well when determining what is in the best interests of your children.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Child Custody Attorney!
Child custody is a delicate legal matter for parents. If you are involved in a custody dispute, you need to reach out to the family law team at the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher for the skilled legal guidance and knowledgeable advice you need. With our experienced team on your side, you can rest assure you will receive the best possible results for your case.
Get started on pursuing the custody arrangement you deserve by contacting our compassionate team at (352) 503-4111 to set up a consultation and discuss the details of your case.