If you are going through a divorce and have children, the process will not be pretty for you. When two parents are involved, they do everything in their will in the courtroom to win the child’s custody. Child custody cases can be difficult to predict. While most people think that the mother is the favored one in this regard, times have changed now.
If you are a parent, it is important to know that the court does not listen to either the mom or the dad but focuses on the child’s best interests. Therefore, before entering the courtroom, get educated about what “best interests” mean legally. Consult with a divorce and family lawyer in Massachusetts today.
Table of Contents
Factors that influence child custody decisions
Domestic abuse and violence.
The judge will take into consideration a parent’s history of domestic abuse and violence and may grant the entire custody of the child to another parent. The parent accused of violence may be subject to restrictions to visit their child. However, if someone alleges you of domestic abuse or violence, seek professional help immediately, as these false allegations can negatively impact your parental rights.
The child’s preference.
A child’s parental preference greatly affects a child’s custody decision. Judges may also take the child’s interview to get a feel of their opinion. The judge may himself talk to the child or appoint a custody evaluator for the task. These sessions are, however, confidential.
Mental and physical health of a parent.
The court will consider the physical and mental state of a parent before giving the custody of a child. A parent with a history of drug abuse, alcoholism, physical disability, or severe mental disorder will not be able to take proper care of a child and will have fewer chances to gain custody.
Stability of the home.
The court will consider the child’s present home situation, whether the child has a regular schedule, a good routine, and a stable home environment. A child may feel frightened and anxious after his parent’s divorce, and intervening with the child’s schedule by moving him to a new environment may increase his fears and lead to severe emotional problems.
The wishes of the parents.
The parents’ wishes are another factor that may influence a court’s decision while giving custody. Parents are allowed to ask for different types of custody, like joint legal custody, where the major decisions are made by both spouses, like the child’s health, education, and welfare, or sole custody, where legal and physical custody of the child is given to either spouse.