Determining child custody is a nuanced decision that can be confusing for many parents. This is why it is always recommended that parents of the child retain a qualified child custody lawyer to help them with the process. However, it’s always best to go into this process with some background knowledge. Keep reading for critical information on how child custody decisions are made.
Developmental Age of Child
Many people wrongly assume that determining child custody is always a contentious issue. However, in many custody decisions (approximately 51%), both parents agree that the mother should become the custodial parent (per Erlich Law). For parents of young children, this decision makes a great deal of sense and is centered around the needs of the child according to their developmental age.
Stability of Parents
Another factor that will be taken into account when determining child custody is the stability of the parents. If one parent is having difficulty maintaining or finding a steady source of income, then it is likely that the parent will struggle to provide stable housing, food, and clothing for the child. In this case, it is likely the parent with a stable income would be granted primary custody of the child.
If the child (or children) has the ability to verbalize his or her wishes, this is also a critical factor in determining child custody. It may be that the child feels more comfortable or closer to one parent over the other, and wishes to live primarily in that parent’s home. In other cases, the child may simply not want to move homes, schools, or neighborhoods. Retaining a child custody lawyer can give your child a neutral party to whom they can divulge their wishes.
Relationship Status of Parents
Another critical factor in child custody cases is the relationship status of the parents prior to resolving a child custody dispute. Whether or not the parents were married may play a role in their custody case. If the parents were married and are now divorcing, they can either come to an amicable solution themselves, or allow the court to intervene if they cannot come to a mutual decision. Either way, retaining a child custody lawyer can help parents reach a custody agreement that allows both parents to be involved in their child’s life.
Quality Child Custody Lawyers Matter
Determining who will be the primary caretaker of a child in cases of separation or divorce can be a stressful process for the entire family. Child custody lawyers can help you understand the child custody process and navigate the court system so that you ensure your child is placed in the best place for him or her.