Many factors are involved while making child custody decisions. To determine which home the child should be placed in, the court strives to reach a conclusion that meets the child’s best interests. Most judges focus on the viewpoint of the child rather than the viewpoint of what parents want. Every child custody case is different and unique. If you need help regarding child custody, click on learn more.
Who gets the child custody in divorce
Some key points are taken into consideration when making decisions on child custody. It includes:
- The Child-Parent relationship
- The lifestyle of the parents
- Preferences of the child
- Continuity with the primary caretaker
- The ability of the parents to provide for the child
- Child’s gender, age, mental and physical health
If none of the above factors favor one parent over the other, the court will decide which parent can provide a stable environment for the children. If the children are young, the custody will be awarded to the parent who is the child’s primary caregiver.
Who is most likely to get the custody–mother or father?
Most states have a rule that custody of children aged five or below is to be awarded to the biological mother when parents divorce or separate. It is also known as the “tender years” doctrine in some states. But most states have removed this presumption because it violates the equal protection article of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S constitution as discrimination is observed based on sex.
The law does not state that the mother will be awarded custody of the child without considering the fitness of both parents. Most divorcing parents assume that the mother will have custody after separation and the father has reasonable visitation. It happens because the fathers presume that the mothers will have custody. After all, the mother is more firm in seeking custody. But now, the rights of fathers have increased and changed. The father may not be awarded the primary caregiver, but he will be given a more generous visitation arrangement than what used to happen in the past.
Custody decisions and unmarried parents
If the child’s parents were never married, most states would give the child’s biological mother the primary caregiver and custody unless the birth father shows up and files a petition to the court for custody. He has to prove to the court that he is the biological father through a paternity test until no questions are raised about paternity.