What are the critical factors that impact child custody decisions?
When a couple decides to end a relationship or divorce their marriage, numerous things follow. The legal proceedings of a divorce, splitting the assets and debts, conflicting emotions and whatnot. But, what’s most important is the impact on the family and children. In any divorce, child custody is the most sensitive topic and is often the most difficult one to settle. Both parents want to be with the child, but the court considers the child’s best interests. While the parents may or may not have a mutual understanding of the child’s custody, the legal system considers many factors to make the decision.
- Child’s and parents’ preference
Before making decisions, the court understands the preferences and needs for the child and the parents. In the case of young children, the court is more likely to accept their preferences, provided that it is in the interests of the child’s future and safety. Unless both parents are willing and fighting for sole child custody, the court accounts for the parent’s preferences.
- Parent’s ability to support the child
The legal system puts great importance on a child’s future and wellness. This means that the parents are judged on their financial, professional and psychological conditions when making a decision. A parent that can provide a secure and loving environment for the child is more likely to get custody.
- Impact and adjustments for the child
Granting child custody isn’t as simple as just giving rights to a parent. It can be a big change for the child – adjusting to a new life, changing schools, moving to a new city while dealing with the emotions of divorce. A judge will take into account how much a child would have to adjust or how will this impact the child before making a decision.
- Parent’s behaviour or negligence towards the child
If there are any indications that a parent is not fulfilling their duties or are negligent towards the child, it could impact their case. Actions like violence, irresponsible behaviour or unfriendly surroundings for the child can be a red flag to a custody case. And a judge would be strict and unwilling to grant custody to that parent.
- Relationship with parent
An ending relationship between the partners doesn’t end the relationship between a child and the parent. And the court pays close attention to that. When deciding the outcome of a custody case, a judge would look for the relationship a child shares with each of the parents. Furthermore, they also look at how a parent would support the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Child custody cases can be complicated and emotionally exhausting. While the parents want to end their relationship, they can’t let go of their child. If you need Houston child custody services or assistance with your custody case, reach out to an attorney. It can be difficult to deal with emotions and be objective in such a situation. An experienced lawyer can help you present your case and build a profile that can improve your chances of winning custody.