Child custody can be an emotional part of any divorce process. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing parents to be familiar with how the child custody process works in their state and what it is based on.
Child custody decisions and how they are made
Child custody is based on an evaluation of a variety of different factors. The factors are used to determine what is in the child’s best interests. The factors include:
- The child’s relationship with each parent and the ability of each of the parents to provide love and affection and nurture and guide the child;
- Thea ability of each parent to ensure the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care and lives in a safe environment.
- The developmental needs of the child and the ability of each of the parents to meet those needs at the time of the child custody agreement and beyond;
- The impact of a change on the child’s adjustment to school and community and their relationship to school and community;
- The ability and inclination of each parent to encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent and encourage continuing and frequent contact with the other parent.
- Any relationship the child has with another person that may significantly impact the child;
- The ability of the parents to communicate, cooperate and make joint decisions together;
- Any history of abuse; and
- Any other factor the family law court considers relevant.
Make sure to protect the child’s best interests
The goal of the child custody process is to reach a child custody arrangement that is best for the child and helps to foster their overall growth, develop and well-being with a focus on the child’s safety and preventing any harm to the child. It is helpful for divorcing parents to also remain focused on these important considerations so they can reach a child custody arrangement that is best for their child.