The decision to award custody is not a simple one. When New Hampshire judges are ruling on these matters, they consider a variety of factors that affect the child’s life. The priority for the court is to determine what is in the child’s best interests. To do this, they evaluate environmental, physical and emotional factors.
Familial relationships and their impact on custody
As part of the child custody process, judges will focus on the existing familiar relationships and how these affect the child. They might look at the bond the child has with each parent and the way the parents get along, particularly how each parent encourages the relationship between the child and the other parent. As well, judges might investigate if one parent has made malicious accusations of abuse against the other parent. Finally, they might also ask the child for their preference, depending on the child’s age.
Environmental factors also play a role
They will also look at the quality of life enjoyed by the child. Similarly, they will consider how the child’s life will be impacted and the types of adjustments the child will need to make if they need to move to a different city, school or even out of state.
Other factors that can affect a custody decision
There are other factors judges will study before making a final decision. These include:
- Each parent’s physical and emotional condition as well as their lifestyle
- Each parent’s ability to pay for and fulfill the child’s needs, including housing, clothing, food and healthcare
- Each parent’s interests in custody
- The child’s physical and mental condition, age and sex
Once all the factors are evaluated, judges can then make an informed decision based on the child’s best interests. As a parent, you need to be ready to provide evidence to support your position.