Going through a divorce can be extremely daunting and overwhelming. Not only are there issues involving dividing marital property and calculating child support, but the judge presiding over the case must determine custody of the children. Should both parents be given joint-custody of the child or should the child remain in the sole-custody of one parent? These are difficult decisions that judges must make while always keeping the child’s best interests in mind. While making these decisions, judges often consider several factors before finalizing child custody in a divorce settlement.
First, the judge may look at the ages of the children. Are the children school-aged? If so, judges often believe that kids of this age need stability and consistency. Furthermore, the judge may look at which parent cared for the child on a regular basis throughout the marriage, as well as the strength of the relationship the child has with each parent. Judges may take into consideration whether the child has any special medical or educational needs that require additional help and support, and each parent’s ability to supply these resources.
Parents are under scrutiny when it comes to determining custody. The judge will look at the ages of the parents, as well as their occupation, education, physical health and mental health. He or she may also look at the community each parent lives in, their home and whether it is in close proximity to a school. The distance between parents may also be used considered when determining final custody of the child.