In some cases, parents are able to determine child custody rights and set up a parenting schedule during an amicable divorce. But there are other cases where they can’t agree, and then the court will have to issue an order instructing parents how to split up things like parenting time and decision-making power.
When the court has to do this, they typically focus on the child’s best interests. But parents may wonder exactly what factors are considered and how the court decides what the child’s best interests are. The truth is that the court will look at numerous different factors, and every situation is unique.
Potential examples of common factors
There are different factors from one case to the next, but below are a few of the common ones that courts will often consider:
- The child’s age.
- The child’s gender.
- If the child has a preference.
- If there is a history of abuse or criminal activity.
- The parents’ physical health and ability to care for the child.
- The parents’ mental health.
- Any social or cultural considerations.
- The proximity to the child’s school or peer groups, along with extracurricular activities.
- The parents’ roles before the divorce, such as the primary caretaker and the primary breadwinner.
If you’re involved in a divorce and the court is going to make a ruling regarding custody of your children, it’s quite important to understand how these factors may apply. You also need to know about the legal steps you can take at this time. This can be a complex process, but it is important to seek the ideal result for both you and your children.