What Factors Determine Child Custody?

by | Mar 23, 2016 | Attorneys

If you have begun the process of divorce, one of the biggest questions you’llyourself facing is one that pertains to your children: who will get custody?

A family court will make a determination, but many considerations will have an effect as they come in to play. When it comes to determining the child’s primary caretaker or visitation rights, these are some of the factors that will be examined when you consult with a child custody attorney in Park Ridge.

The Best Interest of the Child

Unfortunately, your preference is not the only thing that influences the custody decision. The court will make a decision that represents the child’s best interest. Here are some other deciding factors, according to Gordon & Perlut, LLC:

  • How stable the child’s home environment will be with each parent
  • What the child wants, if they are deemed old enough to testify
  • Any special needs that the child has
  • The physical and mental health of the parents

The Primary Caretaker?

If there is a dispute over custody, the court will have to decide who the primary caretaker is in the situation. The primary caretaker is typically the parent who takes care of most of the parenting tasks, such as cooking, health care, assisting with teaching and education at home, and organizing extracurricular or recreational activities for the child.

Types of Custody

There are several different types of custody that can be awarded, all of which have different impacts on you or your spouse’s relationship with your children. These are some of the most common types:

  • Sole Custody – if your spouse is abusive, absent, or otherwise unfit for parenting, you may be awarded full custody of your child. This names you as a caretaker with full custody of your child.
  • Joint Custody – this is a common arrangement in which you and your ex-spouse equally split the time spent with your children.
  • Legal Custody – legal custody is typically awarded to both parents, regardless of who has physical custody. This type of custody allows both parents to make decisions about raising the child, medical care, and education, for example. In the case that one parent is unfit to make decisions about the child’s welfare, only one parent will have legal custody.
  • Physical Custody – physical custody designates the parent with whom the child will live. The other parent will typically have visitation rights, during which the child will spend time in their home. This can occur on alternative weekends, for example.

Overall, navigating a child custody case can be complicated and stressful. It’s in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney to represent you in your case.

The safety, happiness, and health of your children always come first. For help from the experts in family law, contact M. Scott Gordon & Associates for a consultation today.