Child custody cases are usually complicated by the emotional level attached to the child or children. The hearings are normally very stressful and can also make the parent or guardian make poor choices when they are under a lot of stress. Thereby, it is important for each parent involved to talk to a lawyer in person concerning his/her child custody situation and not to make any decisions concerning child custody without having someone who can provide you with all the relevant information while being able to remain objective and in control.
In court, there are various factors that determine how most contested child custody hearings are handled at first with two eligible parents. More importantly, the main concern of the court is to always promote and protect what would be best for the child. The first thin a judge will want to know is whether or not a parent can be completely trusted to do a good job of taking care of his/her child. In order to determine which parent can be trusted, the judge will look at things such as:
– Domestic Violence – Has any violence been going on in the family household? Jake Turner an attorney for Stone & Sallus Law strongly advises, “This should be reported immediately. Your life and the life of others are in danger. There are many different effective options for dealing with this, and you won’t need a lawyer to accomplish them. If you are filing for a divorce then your lawyer can handle your domestic violence legal measures too.
– Mental Stability – Are either of the parents in a troubling emotional or mental situation?
– Physical Stability – Is any parent sick most of the times and unable to fully care for the child?
– Primary Caretaker – Who takes most care of the child and if he/she plays a bigger role in this than the other parent.
– Responsibility – Who gets the child fed, dressed, and bathed and also makes sure the child goes to doctor appointments?
– Time Spent with the Child – If one parent spends a lot of time working while the other parent is mostly spending time with the child, this is also going to be a factor.
– Adultery or Dating – If one parent is involved in non-marital sexual relations, then the judge will also take this into consideration.
– Undermining of a Child’s Relationship with the Other Parent – If one parent interferes with the other parent’s visitation rights or withholds any contact between the child and the other parent, then this will also become a factor.
– Involvement in Activities – Judges will look at various activities such as religious activities, school activities, extracurricular activities, and see how both of the parents are involved in these.
The preferences of a will also be taken into consideration if the child is old and mature enough (usually in the ages of 12 and above). Marry Grey with BLS APC, “If the parents would want to let a child state his/her preferences, then the judge will factor in what the child says into the decision-making process. The child, however, does not have the right to make the decision of which parent should have full custody of him/her but that child’s wishes will play an important role in how the judge makes his/her final decision.
In short, when summarizing all these factors, they all boil down to one thing, trust. A judge needs to completely feel in his/her hear that you are the right person to entrust in the raising of the child. And that is what will mostly take to win a child custody hearing.