If you are going through a divorce and fighting for the custody of your children, you might be wondering what factors go into determining who will get custody of the children. Here are some aspects of deciding custody you should know.
1. Stable Living Situation
One of the first things the court will look at is who is in a stable living situation where the kids can attend their same school and not have to experience too many changes. For example, if one parent is living in the same school district, can provide good housing, and can keep the kids in the same activities, sports, and clubs, priority might be given to that parent.
It is thought that, since the children have already experienced enough traumatic changes with the divorce, the least amount of change is desirable.
2. Stay-at-Home Parent
If one parent has typically been the stay-at-home parent and has been caring for the children the majority of the time, they will probably be given priority for custody, and the other parent who has historically been the working parent would pay child support. In many cases, it tends to be the mother who stays at home, and the father is the bread-winner. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it is always that way. It is just believed that the parent who has done the majority of the child rearing should continue to be there for the child.
3. No Criminal Record
If one parent has had a criminal record, they are less likely to be granted custody of the children. Even if the record had nothing to do with the children, such as a DUI or drug possession, it is still seen as irresponsible behavior and may deem them unfit to have the children. The parent might even have to have supervised visits depending on the severity of the record.
4. No Allegations of Infidelity
If one parent has been unfaithful or already has another boyfriend or girlfriend before the divorce is final, it is likely that they won't be favored for custody. The parent who was committed to the marriage and who fought to keep the family intact will most likely be given custody over the children.
As you can see, there are lots of different situations that could occur, so it is hard to say what the outcome will be for your individual situation. Talk to your divorce lawyer about these and other factors will affect custody.