How is Child Custody Determined?

Whenever family courts make child-related decisions, they are based on the children’s best interests, which encompasses a vast range of factors. In the past, mothers were often the favored parent when it came to child custody, but this is no longer the case. Both parents have an equal right to custody unless one or both poses a risk to the safety, health, and welfare of the children.

Factors Used to Determine Child Custody

Although both parents have equal rights when it comes to child custody, generally one parent receives custodial guardianship and serves as the primary caregiver. When deciding which parent will receive more parenting time with the children, a judge will take a close look at many different factors.

Below are some of the most important factors in a child custody case:

  • The mental and physical health of the children
  • The mental and physical health of both parents
  • Each parent’s lifestyle and other pertinent social factors
  • The relationship the children have with each parent and each parent’s ability to provide guidance
  • The children’s routines and how each parent can maintain and provide the most stability
  • The quality of education in the children’s current situation
  • The willingness of each parent to support one another’s relationship with the children
  • The negative or positive effects of changing the children’s status quo
  • Each parent’s ability to provide the children with medical care, food, clothing, and shelter
  • Any allegations of abuse or neglect
  • The preference of the children, depending on their age and maturity level

Generally, courts award joint custody, but it is possible for a parent to receive sole custody or for a parent’s rights to be severely limited if a judge believes that parent poses a risk to the children. To ensure the best possible results for your case, it is essential to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.

Set Up a Free Consultation with a Skilled Attorney to Discuss Your Child Custody Case!

If you are dealing with a child custody dispute, the experienced team at Arnel Law Firm can provide the knowledgeable legal guidance you need to overcome it and protect your rights as a parent. With more than 40 years of combined experience on our side, you can trust that our attorneys will help you skillfully navigate this difficult and overwhelming process.

Reach out to our legal team today at (718) 550-3024 to set up a free initial consultation with an experienced child custody attorney to discuss your case and how we can assist you during this difficult time.