If you have concerns about your child custody arrangement, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how child custody is determined. Child custody determinations are based on a set of factors with the intended goal of creating a child custody arrangement that is best for the child.
Child custody factors used to decide custody arrangements
The list of factors used to determine what is in the child’s best interests includes:
- The ability of the parents to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters concerning the child.
- The willingness of the parents to accept custody and any history of an unwillingness to allow parenting time that is not based on substantiated abuse concerns.
- The interaction and relationship of the child with their parents and siblings.
- Any history of domestic violence.
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse perpetrated by the other parent.
- The preference of the child when the child is of sufficient age and has the sufficient capacity to reason and make an intelligent decision.
- The needs of the child.
- The stability of the home environment being offered for the child.
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education.
- The fitness of the parents.
- The proximity of the homes of the parents geographically.
- The extent and quality of the time each parent spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the parents’ separation.
- The employment responsibilities of the parents.
- The number and ages of the parents’ children.
These best-interest factors are used to evaluate what child custody arrangement would provide the greatest benefit to the child. It helps to keep parents focused on the primary goal of creating a child custody plan that is best for the child.