“Who gets the custody?” is one of the many questions of divorcing couples with kids. In situations where parents can work things out on their own, the answer will be up to them. This, however, usually involves input from divorce and child custody attorneys, mediators, or counselors. If the couples can’t reach an agreement, a family court will have to make the decision.
When the Case Goes to Court
In court, the judge will consider a number of factors that support the best interests of the child. A major deciding factor is who will be the child’s primary caretaker. This parent does most of the parenting tasks and the one with the closest emotional bond.
Shaynelaw.com and other child custody attorneys in Colorado Springs note that when deciding whom this will be, the judge would want to know who handles the following tasks:
- Grooming (which includes bathing and dressing) of the child
- Cooking and preparation of meals
- Helping with homework and teaching skills like reading and writing
- Decisions regarding health care
- Encouraging participation in recreational and extra-curricular activities
The Factors Do the Court Consider
When deciding what’s in the best interests of the child, the court will consider the following:
- Mental and physical health of the parents
- Religious preference of the parent and the child
- Interaction with other household members
- Age and gender of the child
- Parental use of drugs and alcohol, as well as sex and emotional abuse
- The need for a stable environment
All custody decisions should promote the happiness, security, and mental and emotional health of the child. This means that what the parents want or prefer will not matter in the decision. There are cases, however, where the court will consider the preference or wishes of the child if they are old enough (or reach adulthood).
If you have concerns regarding the custody of your child, it’s best to speak with a divorce or a child custody lawyer. This is to answer all your questions and help protect your rights. You should also consult a legal professional if you wish to modify a child custody decision.