Child custody laws are implemented to maintain relationships between divorced parents and their children in a way that meets the best interest of the child. Going through the steps of child custody hearings can be difficult for everyone involved, but a judge will determine the outcome based on what is best for the child in many different factors of their lives. Here are some common factors that will determine the outcome of your child custody hearing:
What The Child Wants
The child’s personal preference is one of the biggest things taken into consideration when a judge is determining child custody. However, the weight that this factor holds depends on the child’s age and if they are old enough to make a sound decision based off of what they wants. In most states, it is usually between ages 12 and 14 that a child’s opinion will receive more consideration.
Medical and Educational Needs
If the child has important medical or educational needs, the judge will consider the abilities of each parent to provide the necessary means for the child on a day-to-day basis. Under this consideration is discussion of each parent’s work schedule, physical limitations, emotional state, and how well they understand the child’s needs and how to take care of them.
Relationship Between Child and Parent
This is also another very important factor. If one parent is present in the child’s life more often than another, the parent who is around more will have a better chance at being awarded more custody. Emotional ties are looked at strongly by a judge during a child custody hearing.
The court will often send a certified evaluator to the home of each parent in order to assess the living space that the child would be spending most of their time with. The job of the evaluator is to ensure that the child has a safe place to eat, sleep and play, but they may also put negative marks on the visit if it doesn’t meet certain standards of cleanliness and safety.
If you are experiencing a custody battle, seeking professional assistance is important to ensure that the rights of your child are protected. A child custody attorney at The Sampair Group will advocate for you and your child’s best interest. Visit www.sampair.com for more information.