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What 3 Factors Do Judges Look For in a Child Custody Battle?

It is influential to your child custody battle, to know what to expect and the types of qualities a judge will look for when making a decision. A parent can find support through hiring an attorney, so they can walk into the hearing with realistic expectations while feeling prepared with evidence about they are most fit to parent. In many child custody cases, both parents are hoping for sole custody. Unless one parent is vastly unfit compared to the other, a judge may grant joint custody. But then, the parents must be able to work together for the betterment of their child.

Ultimately, the judge is going to choose which parent they feel is going to provide the most supportive environment as the child continues to grow up into adulthood. The best interest of the child is often at the forefront of the judge’s mind when making this decision.

Q: What factors are most important to the judge when deciding custody?

A: There are three main factors that a judge is probably going to take into consideration, before choosing which parent shall have sole custody. During the hearing, each parent has the opportunity to express their preferences and why they feel they are the best parent to have custody. The three main factors for the judge’s final decision can be summarized as:

  1. Home and Basic Needs: the judge wants the child to always have access to proper fitting clothes, nutritional food, health care, and a room to themselves. Parents must show how they can provide a clean, safe, and comfortable environment as their child grows up. The judge may also ask if the child will have an appropriate space for homework, playtime, and meals.
  2. Social and Emotional Support: a judge is likely to prefer the child lives with the parent that has a network of family nearby, and where the child can develop friendships within the school or community. Extended family members who can be involved, is often viewed positively as being additional support to the child’s needs.
  3. Psychological Wellness: the custody battle can lean in a parent’s favor, if the judge feels that he or she can be supportive to the child’s growing psychological health and wellbeing. The judge wants to see the parent can set boundaries and not talk badly about the other parent in front of the child. A parent that is manipulative and tries to pin the child against the other parent would cause emotional and mental distress.

Q: It is necessary that I hire an attorney for my custody case?

A: It may be in your best interest to consult with a child custody lawyer about your child custody battle. With some insight and little strategy from an attorney, it can help increase your chances of a more favorable outcome. Child custody battles can be emotionally triggering for both parents and the children involved. Obtaining legal help can be a useful tool in staying level-headed and getting prepared for the challenging hearing to come.

Contact Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and child custody battles.

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