Many parents see their split coming long before they decide to get a divorce. Some parents use that time to begin the research process into how judges award custody.
When parents can’t agree on a custody arrangement and a judge has to hand down a decision, the judge will base that decision on what is considered to be in a child’s best interests in such situations. You may wonder what factors the judge weighs when rendering such a decision.
How is “in the best interests” defined?
A child’s experiences can leave a lasting impression on their life. The ideal situation that helps a child thrive has shifted over the years. The latest consensus is that children succeed best when both parents share in raising them.
There are key factors that a judge will likely inquire about to ensure that both parents are fit to raise their child, including:
- Whether either parent has substance abuse issues
- The stability of the parents’ physical and mental health
- The safety of each parents’ home and neighborhood
- If either parent has past abuse or domestic violence allegations
Judges may also weigh other factors, including your child’s gender, special needs and age, when deciding what custody arrangement is best for them.
What custody arrangements are in your child’s best interests?
The thought of having to spend time apart from your child may not sit well with you. A judge will likely give you an opportunity to voice why that’s the case in court. You may be able to present evidence in your case from a therapist showing why certain decisions are best for your child.
You don’t have endless opportunities to have your case heard in front of a judge, so you’ll want to make sure that you make the best case possible when you have the opportunity