Divided Homes: Quick Overview Of How Courts Determine Custody

By on November 18, 2015

Split custody is usually something the courts try to avoid. It’s generally seen as more difficult for a child to be separated from one of their parents and their siblings. Because of this fact, many courts prefer to give either sole or joint custody. However, in the case of physical custody, it’s also possible to give the parent without physical custody the right to legal custody.

Unmarried Parents

In the case of unmarried parents, the custody battle is typically fairly clear. The child generally ends up going with the mother. In these cases, the mother generally gets sole custody, unless the father attempts to gain custody by going to court. Generally, a father that is not married to the mother can gain custody over relatives and friends, but won’t have a good chance of winning custody over a mother who is considered a good parent.

Divided Homes: Quick Overview Of How Courts Determine Custody

Child’s Best Interests

The most important factor in a custody decision is always the child’s best interests. There is quite a bit of leeway in determining this, and it can be difficult for the court to decide who to award custody. The process of determining best interest can vary between states. In the case of older children, the courts may ask the child to state their preference.

Custody Factors

Besides the wishes of the child, there are several other factors that come into play when deciding who to award custody. The mental and physical health of each parent can be one deciding factor. Religious considerations may also play a part in determining custody. The courts generally want to keep the home environment as stable as possible. The court may take into account if there is a possibility of the child staying in the same house. Other factors like adjustment to a new school, the age of the child and the use of excessive discipline may be factored in.

Primary Caretaker

In some cases, a parent can prove they were the primary caretaker. When this happens, the parent who cared for the child must show this in court. This is generally when a lawyer can be of great help. According to Coil Law, with Salt Lake City child custody attorneys, one of the factors that determines custody in Utah is the existing nature between the parent and child.

When it comes to determining custody, you need to make sure you have a cohesive and organized legal team working behind you. Don’t leave your child’s future to chance. Make sure you understand the process of determining custody, and prepare to make an appealing case to the courts.

About Anica O