In family law, child custody is a term that refers to making decisions about the upbringing of a minor. It includes where the child lives and who has responsibility for them on a day-to-day basis. In some cases, it also applies to contact with family members and other children. Before awarding child custody, the courts often consider certain factors.
The parents’ living situation
While determining the parent’s living situation, family law courts must consider the family’s current place of residence as well as where they lived in prior to separation. Usually, the judges award custody to the parent who has been living in the family’s home because the kids are already familiar with the place and the family’s routines. However, the courts have consider other factors below too.
On top of that, the courts also consider whether a child’s well-being is at risk when they spend time with any family members. This includes, among other things, assessing the existence of domestic violence or substance abuse issues.
The child’s age
The courts may prefer to award primary care of children who’re still in their “tender years” to their mother over their father.
However, this is not always true for every family circumstance. If the family courts believe that one parent is not fit to make the best decisions for a family, they may award custody to an alternative caregiver.
The child’s relationship with each parent
In family law, courts can try to assess the family dynamics and the child’s relationship with each parent, including how the child feels about their parents.
Overall, family law judges consider the best interests of the child as a primary factor before awarding child custody. So, if you’re going through family law proceedings, you need to know the considerations made while awarding child custody to know what to expect.