The court may grant sole legal custody to one parent or joint legal custody to both parents. The primary deciders for the court to grant custody to one parent is based on a number of factors commonly describes as the “best interest of the child.” Other factors are who will be able to provide better care for the child and who will be able to control and instruct the child.
However, this is not set in stone, meaning the court can change who receives custody of the child if they determine a change in level of care, support, and situation of the parent after the date of the divorce. Some of the factors that the court considers when granting custody include:
- The parent and the child’s age
- The mental and physical condition each parent and child
- The relationship between each parent and child, the child’s requirements
- The role each parent will play in the upbringing of the child
- The home where the child will reside, and the child’s preference, if they are of appropriate age, maturity, and intellect to make a decision
A custody of a child involves two concepts—legal custody and physical custody. The parent with legal custody of the child has the ability to make major or long-term decisions for the child’s welfare such as education, religious preferences, discipline, non-emergency health decisions and other issues relating to this. Now the parent with physical custody has the child living mostly with them and they have the right to decide for the child’s everyday needs.
This refers to who actually has custody at this time. Temporary custody is filed in order to formalize custody before litigation begins. This is mainly based on the child’s best interest. It is not the final decision but instead, this is assigned while you wait for the court to hold a hearing.
This is actually broke down to three categories. Joint Legal Custody
means that the parents share the responsibility and authority for the care and control of the child. They share significant but not essentially equal, physical and custodial care of the child. The child only has one primary residence. In Shared Physical Custody, this means that the child has two residences but spends at a least a major portion of their time with the other parent. You can also request for a Special Joint Custody
that is any combination of shared physical and joint legal custody.
Sole custody means only one parent has the duty and right for the care and control of the child. This also means that the child resides with only one parent and the non-custodial parent may have specific visitation rights.
The best example for this is if they have two children and each parent has the full custody over one child. This is decided basing on the child’s age and preference.
These are some of the list of factors that the court has to consider in order to determine the best interests of the child for a successful custody:
Primary Care Giver
This parent should have the ability to take care, feed and provide for the child. He/she should be the child’s primary person to go to.
This parent should be physically and psychologically capable of looking after the child. The court may also check if there is evidence of abuse by a party against the other parent, the party’s spouse, or anyone residing the party’s household.
The Child’s Preference
Knowing the child’s preference is important but it’s rare for the court to hear from a child under 7 years of age. A child of 10 or 12 years of age is certainly entitled to give their opinions which will help with the process.
Age, Health and Gender of Child
Each of these factors is very critical. For example, if the child needs special care, or is too young to decide for themselves, or is closer to the same sex parent, the court will have to take these into consideration.
Ability to Maintain Family Relationships
The court has to know who is more willing to allow the child to speak to their ex-mother in law for example. This is important especially if the child has a very close bond to the family and he/she still wants to keep the family intact.
Custody battle is tough and this is definitely an issue that needs immediate action. This will test your parenting skills and your capability to look after your child. You will need experienced lawyers who will provide you the best and firm representation at an affordable price. Don’t just ignore these issues; contact us today at 757-226-7680
for more information!