For many people, facing divorce means facing numerous uncertainties. If you are a parent, your children are precious to you, but, unfortunately, the custody of your children can be one of the many uncertainties you face in divorce.
Parents usually have the most control over child custody outcomes when they work together to create a plan. However, this is not always possible, and when divorcing couples cannot decide, a judge will decide for them. If you are concerned you and your ex will not reach an agreement regarding child custody, it can be helpful to understand what factors judges consider when selecting an appropriate child custody arrangement.
The best interests of your children are a judge’s top concern
If a judge must select a custody arrangement for your family, he or she will look for the arrangement that serves the best interests of your children. The judge can consider any relevant factor when determining what their best interests are. However, there are several standard considerations as well.
Some factors a judge may consider, include:
- The relationship your children have with each parent
- The relationships your children have with each other
- Each parent’s familiarity with the children’s needs
- Each parent’s ability to provide for those needs
- Each parent’s home environment
- Each parent’s willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent
- Any history of family violence or substance abuse
Although these are some of the factors a judge will consider when awarding custody, it may also be advantageous to consider them throughout the child custody process. Whatever child custody arrangement your family ends up with should serve the best interest of your children. Despite all the uncertainties your family faces in divorce, the welfare and happiness of your children should never be put at risk.