Factors Affecting Child Custody

Divorce is usually a public display of the separation of a family, which is subjected to many legal scrutinies. Adding child custody into the procedure can make the divorce even more challenging since the human emotions and sentiments between the child and the parent are negotiated as the judge makes the final call.

Having a Gig Harbor Child Support Attorney by your corner during such a trying time could help smoothly hasten the process.

The family court often intervenes in matters regarding child custody and weighs in on several factors while deciding who gets to call the shots when it comes to the child. These include:

Child’s preference:

In all the cases regarding child custody, the child is asked to voice their opinion to the judge about which parent they would rather stay with. The judge would consider their choice keeping in mind the age and the maturity level of the child. However, the parent may use parental manipulation and alienation to coerce a child to choose one parent over the other. In such a situation, the judge would ensure that no coercion in connection with the child’s opinion occurs.

Parent’s financial well being:

The court inspects the parent’s ability to provide a basic, clean, and safe living environment for their child. The child’s essential needs like education, food, and water are also taken into account. In addition, the question of child support payment may also arise.

Parent’s overall health:

The parent’s overall physical and mental health is vital when deciding with whom the child will reside. The parent’s mental health must be stable, and the parent should not indicate any signs of mental illness. The parent’s physical health also includes any history of alcoholism and drug/substance abuse as well as any existing diagnosed medical conditions.

History of violence:

The criminal record of the parent is also thoroughly inspected. Any prior history of child neglect, endangerment, or abuse could be ruled not in favor of the parent. Furthermore, the parent’s previous misdemeanors, felonies, and convictions are also discussed. Remember, even the factor of domestic abuse could negatively impact one’s chances at claiming custody.

Stable home:

The child’s present living condition is analyzed. The judge would often see for the home where the child would already have a strong emotional attachment with other family members, and most of all should thrive.

The factors may change depending on the individual’s case. Therefore, the lawyer can help you understand the proper steps and ensure your child stays with you.