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3 Factors That Affect Child Custody Placement

Dissolving a relationship is never easy, and when children are involved, it can be even more difficult. Communication skills don't typically magically improve during the dissolution process, and determining things such as child support and child custody may be impossible.

While mediation may work for some couples, others must have the legal system decide what is in the best interest of the children. If you are faced with this situation, it's important you understand the factors a judge is looking for when deciding who is the better parent.

Who Has Been The Primary Caretaker?

If the mother has been a stay-at-home mother and caring for the children full-time, it may make sense that everything continues as it was. However, in the event of family dissolution, a single mother may need to reenter the workforce. Regardless, the judge will want to know who has been providing the majority of the children's care recently or since birth.

What Are The Ages Of The Children?

If the children involved are quite young and not of school age, it often makes sense for the mother to maintain physical custody. For example, a baby who is still breastfeeding obviously needs her mother to fulfill this responsibility.

On the other hand, if the children are teenagers, the judge will likely take into consideration their feelings on child custody and placement. For example, it is not uncommon for an adolescent boy to decide he would prefer to reside full-time with his father if he has a good relationship with him. While a judge will look to other factors besides the wishes of older children, their feelings will nonetheless be given consideration.

Who Is The Most Stable?

While it's important that there are enough financial resources to care for children, stability is not the same as a lot of money. A parent can have a well-paying job but still be deemed unable to provide a stable home.

A court wants to see a parent who will be able to provide all the needs of the children, not just put a roof over their head. This means things like being there to take them to their extracurricular activities, keeping a clean home, and not being distracted with drug and alcohol issues.

Every family court custody and child support case is unique. The judge will consider these factors and any other factors that come into play that could adversely affect the health and welfare of the children.

Reach out to a business such as the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C. for more information.