What Judges Look For in a Child Custody Case?
When choosing a custody arrangement for a child, judges consider many factors. They focus on the child’s physical and mental health, and the parents’ parenting abilities. They also look at the bond between the child and each parent.
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In most cases, the court prefers to preserve a child’s routine and keep the child with one parent. In some cases, however, the court will allow a change of custody, if the child’s new home is more suitable for the child. If a parent has been unable to take care of the child, the judge may order them to seek treatment. If the parent refuses, it can be dangerous for the child and the parent.
The court will also consider the age of the children. Young children will require more hands-on care. The older a child gets, the more difficult it is for them to get along with one parent. For this reason, the court will give preference to a parent who has been more involved in the child’s upbringing.
The judge will also consider the family’s income. The parent with the higher income may have a better chance at getting custody. They will also be considered if they are a more stable parent, or if they have been a caregiver for other family members.
The judge will also consider the parents’ physical and mental health. For example, if one parent has a psychological disorder, the court may order that the parent see a professional to develop a treatment plan for their condition. If the parent is abusive, the court may also order that they attend counseling. They will also look at the parent’s criminal record and any past domestic violence.
The judge will also consider the parent’s personal preferences. If the parent has a preference for a particular child, the judge may award custody to that child. When making this decision, the court will take into account the child’s wishes and desires. Occasionally, the court will grant partial physical custody to a parent, only during the summer. This can be beneficial, since a parent’s job obligations may prevent them from being able to take care of the child during the school year.
The court may also use a guardian ad litem to speak with the child. Having a neutral person meet with the child can help provide additional information that the judge may not have. The court may also consider the opinion of a family member or friend. If a child has an emotional reaction to being in a different home, the court will make a judgment based on the child’s needs.
Usually, the parent who has the most involvement in the child’s life will be awarded custody. This can include taking the child to school, attending extracurricular activities, and taking the child to doctor’s appointments. It can also mean providing a clean and healthy environment for the child. The judge will work to maximize the time a parent spends with the child.