If you and your former spouse are not able to come up with a custody agreement, the court system will do this for you. While it is always best to have an agreement that is worked out by both parties, sometimes this isn't possible. There are a number of factors the court will take into consideration if a custody arrangement needs to be decided upon. If you have come to a standstill with your ex about a parenting plan, be prepared to have the following aspects of your life looked at by the courts.
History of Who Provided Primary Care
When considering where the children should spend the majority of their time, the parent who was the primary caretaker in their lives has a bit of advantage. If both parents were equally involved in their care, this may not be a factor in determining custody.
How the Parent Can Meet the Needs of the Child
Your children have the right to get their needs met and the right to live in an environment where they will flourish. The ability of each parent to meet these needs is closely looked at. For example, if you are a parent who doesn't have a driver's license and no access to public transportation, this may work against you in a custody fight.
How Healthy Each Parent Is
Both mental and physical health matter when determining a custody arrangement. If you suffer from serious mental or medical illnesses that are difficult to treat, this can be deemed a reason why you can't have a substantial amount of custody.
If Domestic Violence is a Factor
If the relationship has involved domestic violence, this can sway custody from one party to another. If one party has been violent, it is more likely that the other parent will retain more custody.
As custody is decided, there are other factors also taken into consideration. The judge will look at the ability of both parents to financially support their children and how stable their home environment is. Determining child custody can be a complicated process, and it is in the best interest of most couples to come up with an amicable custody arrangement if possible.
If you are in the midst of a child custody dispute and you aren't sure what to do, it's important to contact a lawyer who can help. You will need an attorney to help you get the custody that you deserve.