Child custody cases can be the most difficult and emotionally exhausting part of any divorce. Because of the high stress and emotional strain put on children when their parents separate, courts are legally and morally obligated to always put the child’s best interests first when determining child custody arrangements.
However, there are also a few other factors that you’ll want to keep in mind during your child custody case, as these can also impact the final decision. At Myers Family Law, we know how complex and daunting these cases can be, and our Granite Bay child custody attorneys will do everything in their power to protect your children and preserve the dignity of your family dynamic.
Key Factors in Child Custody Decisions
During a child custody case, the court’s goal is to get the most complete picture of your family and home life before making any decisions, as these are incredibly unique to each family. That being said, there are some nearly universal factors that most judges will look at when considering a case. Even when parents are asking for joint legal custody – the most desirable outcome in the majority of cases – a judge may not grant it if they feel that one parent cannot adequately provide proper financial, emotional, and physical resources for their child.
Some of the most common factors that may influence custody decisions include:
- The preferences of the child. This can weigh heavily on a judge’s decision, especially if the child is older than 14. They may attempt to determine whether the child even wants to see their parent, by conducting interviews with the child in-person or through a custody evaluator.
- Mental and physical health of the parents. Issues like anger management, diagnosed personality disorders, and other conditions can cause some challenges in seeking child custody, although they are not insurmountable with the right representation.
- The quality of each parent’s relationship with the child. This can often be a subjective criteria, but if it appears that a child is more comfortable with one parent, or if a parent has not taken the time to foster a positive relationship, it can influence the final outcome.
- Each parent’s current work responsibilities and commitments. Even if you are well-qualified to have physical custody on paper, having extended work or volunteer commitments, or even other relationships and children in the mix, can raise some questions about the quality of care you can provide to the child in question.
- Any instances of neglect or abuse. Abuse is taken very seriously, as no judge would consciously allow neglect or harm to continue for a child when given the chance to decide otherwise. If you do have a past criminal record or a history of abuse, make sure you speak to a skilled attorney before the case begins.
- The living conditions in each parent’s home. Is your home healthy, well-kept, and sanitary? Are there appropriate year-round lodgings for your child? Do you get frequent visits from adult strangers? These are the kinds of questions that a custody evaluator may ask you, as they attempt to understand what your home actually looks like on the inside.
Our attorneys at Myers Family Law have been helping families in the Granite Bay area for over 25 years. As experienced and caring child custody lawyers, we know that these matters can be filled with contention and frustration, and that it can be difficult to weigh all the factors on your own. That’s why we’re here to help, and we can balance fighting on your behalf with the kind of compassionate counsel you need in this difficult time.
Contact us today at 916-634-0067 to schedule a low-cost, 30-minute consultation! We’re ready to assist clients throughout Granite Bay, Sacramento, and Placer County.