When you’re going through a divorce, one of the most disputed topics that you’ll come across is child custody. Children aren’t like assets that can easily be split between homes, so it makes it important that you have a solid parenting plan and custody order in place.
When parents can’t agree on custody arrangements, then the case will go to court. A judge then has to make a difficult decision and decide what is in the best interests of the children in the case.
What factors will a judge consider when determining custody?
A judge will consider factors such as:
- The mental health of all parties involved
- Whether there has been a history of abuse, domestic violence or substance abuse
- The child’s wishes, depending on their maturity level and age
- How the child interacts with their parents
- The physical health of the parents and children involved in the case
- The parents’ actions and if the judge believes they are willing to work together to raise their child
- The parents’ wishes
It’s necessary to consider the case from all angles so that the right decisions are made. Once a judge decides, the custody order is final unless a modification is requested and approved in the future.
What can you do to make your custody case stronger?
To make your case stronger, you will want to show how involved you are in your child’s life. It’s a good idea to get references and witness statements from those who see how you interact with your child or children. It’s also important to start playing an active role in your child’s life if you have not been doing so.
On top of this, you want to show that you’re willing to work with the other parent. If you show that you’re willing to negotiate, aren’t name-calling and are being a respectful, responsible parent, then that will go a great distance in helping you during your court case.
Winning custody isn’t really about “winning.” It’s about doing what’s best for your child and being willing to work together with the other parent as you move forward. Your attorney will help you show that you want to do that and seek the custody time you need.