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5 Factors That Affect Child Custody Rulings

Child custody is an often hard-fought issue between two parents during divorce. This is because each parent values time with their children and wants to have as much of it as possible.

Time-sharing, whether in terms of custody or visitation, is almost always inevitable. This is often a difficult issue for the court to resolve because judges are focused on ensuring a child’s best interests are taken into account. This means that each parent is evaluated on multiple levels to determine custody and visitation.

Below are five of the most important factors that could affect the outcome of your child custody proceedings.

1. Ability to Support a Child

One of the first variables a court considers is each parent’s basic ability to support a child. This means that the court evaluates the tendency of each parent to ensure that a child’s financial and emotional needs are met.

A parent’s individual financial status isn’t taken into account at this point, but rather their willingness to spend money for the benefit of their children. Also considered are a parent’s abilities to provide a safe, clean home as well as ensure the child has access to education, healthcare, enrichment, and other important parts of development.

2. Stability & Routine Schedules

Judges broadly consider stability to be an important consideration for children. For this reason, many judges are disinclined to remove a child from a stable home environment if doing so would cause the child unnecessary frustration.

If one parent intends to move away from a child’s current home, that parent may be less likely to secure physical custody and have the child move with them. Similarly, a parent who works odd hours or has an irregular work schedule may be unlikely to become the custodial parent.

3. History of Domestic Violence

The courts take allegations of domestic violence very seriously when deciding child custody. If a judge believes that allowing a parent a certain amount of access to a child would put them in danger, the judge is inclined to favor the other parent.

Parents should keep in mind that false allegations of domestic abuse can result in losing custody of their children and even facing criminal charges for perjury.

4. Alcohol & Drug Abuse

Substance abuse and misuse are similarly treated seriously by the courts. Part of providing a child with a stable home environment is ensuring that their parent isn’t spending money on an addiction to alcohol or drugs, is of sound mind to provide care for their child, and isn’t exposing the child to dangerous substances or individuals.

When a parent has a documented history of alcohol and/or drug abuse, they should expect a judge to scrutinize every detail of their criminal record (if they have one), treatment, and/or rehabilitation.

5. Other People in the Home

Judges also want to be sure that placing a child with one parent or the other won’t expose the child to another individual who may harm them. For example, if a parent moves in with their new spouse as the child’s stepparent, the judge will want to evaluate whether or not the stepparent presents a possible danger to the child.

Although the judge isn’t awarding custody to the stepparent, they can be evaluated in many of the ways we previously discussed. The stepparent’s criminal history, history of domestic violence, history of substance abuse, spending habits, and schedule can all play a role in determining their spouse’s child custody case.

Do You Need Help with Child Custody?

Child custody is a difficult legal matter to resolve. Our experienced lawyer at Krusch Divorce Resolution can guide you through this process while working to help you achieve your goals. No attorney can guarantee results, but we are confident our personalized approach can increase our clients’ odds of securing an agreeable outcome.

Learn more during a consultation with our attorney. Contact Krusch Divorce Resolution online to learn more.