Parents may worry about how child custody will be determined during their divorce. It is helpful for them to know child custody determinations are based on a variety of factors and for them to be familiar with what those factors are.
Child custody factors used to determine child custody
Factors that are used to determine child custody are aimed at what is in the best interests of the child. Child custody factors that are considered include:
- The home and school history of the child;
- The mental, physical and moral status of the parents;
- The permanence of the proposed home for the child;
- The continuity of the child’s living situation;
- The ability of the parents to provide for the child;
- The existing ties, love and affection between the child and each parent;
- The involvement of each of the parents in the child’s life including with their teachers, friends and extracurricular activities;
- The ability of each of the parents to meet the child’s developmental needs;
- If each of the parents will cooperate with the other parent and encourage the child’s contact with the other parent;
- If each of the parents will be reasonable in accommodating changes that need to be made;
- If each of the parents will honor the time-sharing and visitation schedule;
- How parental responsibilities have historically been shared or divided and if they were performed by anyone else such as a nanny or babysitter; and
- Any history of domestic violence.
These factors are used to determine what child custody arrangement is best for each child on a case-by-case basis because no child is the same. The family law court will carefully evaluate these factors to determine custody so it is helpful for parents to be familiar with the factors used and focus on them as much as possible as well during the child custody process.