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Child Custody Factors

The biggest factor in custody determinations is the best interest of the child.  In order to determine the child’s best interests, the court is required to consider all factors which impact upon the child’s physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual well-being. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Custody is broken down into two aspects: 

(1)   Legal custody is the right to make major decisions affecting the child.  Major decisions can include education, elective medical treatment, and religious decisions.  Parents usually share joint legal custody of the child.

(2)   Physical custody refers to the party with whom the child actually resides, either partially or entirely.

The following are the factors that the court considers:

1.   The child’s preference;  however, a child’s opinion is never controlling. How much weight is given depends upon the age and maturity of the child.

2.   Where siblings reside.

3.   Parent’s past conduct.

4.   Parent’s new relationships.

5.   Stability of parent.

6.   The parties’ work schedules.

7.   The gender and age of child.

8.   Which parent may be more accommodative.

9.   Abusive conduct.

For more questions about Child Custody, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated and compassionate attorneys.

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