question.jpgIn Divorce Law

How does a court decide which parent gets custody?

Family courts generally take several factors into consideration when deciding how to determine custody, though “the best interests of the child” is the one overriding factor. The most commonly considered factors when considering custodial arrangements include: 1) which parent serves as primary caretaker; 2) the time each parent has available to spend with the child; 3) the current arrangement; 4) the nature of the home environment each parent can provide; 5) the child’s preference; 6) whether a parent has abuse or neglected a child; 7) whether a parent has a drug or alcohol problem; 8) each parent’s mental and physical health; and 9) the parent’s ability to foster a loving environment. Less determinative factors include the parent’s gender, financial resources, and religion.