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Which Factors Influence Child Custody Decisions?

If you are going through a divorce and have children, one of the most important things for you right now would be child custody. No parent wants to lose their right to spend time with their child. The court considers various factors before deciding who gets custody. Knowing about these factors can help you fight for shared or full custody. 

Divorces are an emotional time, and sometimes one parent can make false allegations about the other just to take custody of the child. If you are experiencing similar issues in your divorce, you will require the assistance of a Sandy divorce lawyer

Factors that influence child support decisions

  • Abuse or domestic violence allegations. 

The court takes the matter of abuse and domestic violence very seriously. Any person who has a criminal history of violence or abuse is considered an unfit parent and will likely not be given joint custody of the child. If one parent alleges the other of abuse, an in-depth investigation is conducted. If you were accused of abuse, you must hire a lawyer. 

  • Ability to support the child. 

The court looks at the child’s needs carefully during a divorce and makes sure they get everything needed to maintain a good standard of living. The ability to support a child does not only include being able to support them financially but also their emotional needs and wellbeing. The court also considers a parent’s inclination to ensure that the child’s needs are being met. 

  • The wishes of the parents and child. 

The wishes of parents include whether they even want custody of the child and the wishes of the child include whether they want to live with either parent. If both parents want full custody of their kid, the power of decision-making is then rested in the hands of the judge. However, if a parent does not even want the child, there is nothing much to decide. Similarly, the court takes into consideration what the child wants. 

  • Allegations of substance abuse. 

Just like abuse allegations, allegations of substance abuse are also a very serious matter. A child should not live with a parent who has a problem with addiction. Drinking problems and drug abuse increase the likelihood of abuse, neglect, or other harm. 

  • Other individuals in the house. 

The court considers who the child will be living with other than their parent. For example, moving a child away from their step or half-siblings can be emotionally unfair to them. Similarly, moving them into a house where an adult has an addiction problem is not right either. The judge carefully looks at the occupants of the house and makes a decision. 

Child custody matters can be challenging, both legally and emotionally. Even if you and your ex-spouse have already agreed on joint custody, they could change their mind any moment. To make sure you get the deserved custody, contact an attorney today. 

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