How Does the Court Determine Child Custody?

Helping men who are going through divorce find the resources, information, and guidance they need.

Hi guys! Today’s post is about child custody, but more specifically on how the courts determine who gets custody of children in a divorce case. I spoke with a friend of mine who’s a divorce attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, and he gave me some information to help me write this post. 

Every state is slightly different when it comes to child custody issues, but there are some basic factors that affect court decisions that are probably universal throughout the states. Let’s get into some of the main issues that will affect who gets custody.

How Does the Court Decide?

The courts are very thorough when making decisions regarding child custody, and for good reason: a child’s happiness, health, and well-being are at stake. So, the court wants to ensure that they are going to receive the best possible outcome. In the past, most courts granted custody of children to the mother in an overwhelming majority of cases.

Nowadays, most courts believe that a child needs both a mother and a father to be well-adjusted and happy. For that reason, they will try to ensure that both parents share custody or have visitation rights. The only time they will take away a parent’s right to be with their child is if the parent is a danger to the child or it would not be in the best interest of the child to spend a lot of time with that person.

Some of the factors that influence the court’s decision when deciding child custody matters are as follows:

  • Substance abuse issues
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Mental health issues
  • The relationship between each parent and the child
  • Criminal behaviors
  • The earning potential of each parent
  • The child’s ties to the community
  • The child’s preference
  • Health concerns
  • Which parent has been the caregiver

Keep in mind that even if you have had issues that would prevent you from gaining full or partial custody of your child now, you might be able to petition the court for more custody time in the future. For instance, if you suffered from drug issues in the past, you could gain more visitation rights if you can demonstrate that you no longer abuse drugs.

Barry Spalding Is Here to Help

I’m Barry Spalding, and I love helping men get the support and information they need when they’re going through a divorce. Check back in with me next week to get more tips, advice, and information related to getting through the divorce process in one piece.