Butler Giraudo & Meister
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Factors Which Decide Child Custody

One of the biggest post-divorce questions is which spouse gets custody of the children. Here are some of the factors that are considered by the court while making the decision:

The Child's Age

While traditionally, younger children were believed to thrive more under the care of their mothers, many recent rulings have allowed young children to live with their fathers, if the father can prove he will provide better care for the child, in terms of good schooling, positive companionship, and ample healthcare in the event of a sickness or disease. 

The Parent's Living Situation

There are two ways the living situation of the parents affects child custody. Either the parent who holds the rights to the child's home gets custody, so as not to disrupt the child's living situation. The scenario can also play out in reverse, where the parent who has custody is awarded the family home. If you want to get custody of the child, it is important to prove that you either possess a house or can provide a home for the child after the divorce.

Lastly, the closer you live to your ex-spouse after the divorce, the more likely the chances of a time-sharing plan will be ordered by the judge that assigns lots of time with the child to each parent.

The Parent's Relationship with the Child

The court will consider how involved you are in your child's life. Sometimes, a parent can insist on getting child custody simply to score a point over their spouse, rather than out of a genuine desire to keep the child. This possibility causes judges to carefully evaluate the reasons behind a parent wanting custody of the child.

Who the Child wants to Live with

There is a certain minimum age limit after which children are deemed old enough to hold a valid opinion regarding their living conditions. Thus, the children may get a say on such matters as custody and visitation rights if they are in their teen years. Younger children may also meet with trained professionals who will ascertain in a stress fee atmosphere who the child truly wishes to live with. It is also important for courts that the divorce causes as little disruption to a child's life as possible. To that end, judges prefer to award custody to the parent who can guarantee that things remain the same in terms of where the child lives and which school he or she attends, as opposed to the parent who wishes to uproot the child's living routine and move to a new place. 

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