If you are a parent who is planning to divorce your spouse, your primary concern may be gaining custody of your child. During the divorce proceedings, the judge will decide who will be the primary caregiver for your minor child. Your divorce attorney will present evidence to help show that you should be the custodial parent. However, the judge will consider multiple factors when deciding a custody arrangement. Here are a few:
Who will keep the family home?
The judge will attempt to act in the best interest of your child. Divorce is already an unsettling event for most youngsters. To tear the child away from his current school, nearby family and friends may be even more traumatic. If you are keeping the family home, it could work in your favor and in your child's best interest.
Has there been abuse or neglect?
The judge is unlikely to award custody to a parent who has a proven record of child abuse or neglect. Abuse includes any act that results in physical or emotional trauma to your child. Neglect occurs when a child is not provided with what he or she needs.
The judge will not only consider instances of child abuse; spousal abuse will be reviewed as well. One out of 15 youngsters witness intimate partner abuse each year. Of those, 90 percent are eyewitnesses to the violence. The images and sounds to which your child is exposed during a violent episode can affect their current and future mental and emotional well-being.
Do you have enough money to adequately provide for your child?
If you are not financially stable, it may be difficult to provide adequate care for your child. The judge may review your financial records and upcoming plans to help determine your financial state. If you don't have a job or a suitable living environment, your chance of obtaining custody could be reduced.
Have you been the child's primary caregiver up until now?
Sometimes, one spouse assumes the role of primary caregiver for the children in a home. Even if you desire custody, it may not be awarded if you have not participated in the care of your child in the past.
If you have your children and are pursuing a divorce, talk with your divorce attorney about things that you can do to increase your chance of being awarded custody. He or she will be able to share knowledge of the law and past case experiences to help.
For more information, contact Hart Law Offices, PC or a similar firm.