- The best interest of your children. Their best interest is the “polar star” that judges follow when making decisions. Judges are not interested in what’s best for the parents or what they want or need. Their job is to decide on a custody arrangement that will serve the children’s best interest.
- Which parent is the primary caretaker of the children. The parent who was primarily responsible for caring for the children during the relationship/marriage has advantage in getting custody when the relationship/marriage ends.
- Which parent is more likely to promote a relationship with the opposing parent. Most judges consider it to be in a child’s best interest to have a strong relationship with both parents and will favor the parent most likely to nurture this relationship.
- Which parent is more likely to provide the children with a stable living situation. When parents split up, it creates instability and that is why judges want to ensure that other areas of the child’s life is stable. Parents who relocate frequently and require children to change schools and make new friends will have a difficult time getting custody.
- The special needs of the children. Whether those needs are physical or emotional, the judge will grant custody to the parent that appears most willing or able to meet those needs.
- The health of each parent. Parents have to by physically capable of taking care of their children. Judges are not likely to award a parent custody if they health issues that render them unable to do so.
Photo Credit: Visual Hunt