When a couple gets divorced and there are children involved, one of the major points of the settlement is who gets child custody during divorce. You may want to leave your spouse, but few want to have their children taken away from them permanently. Whether you are a mother or father, you have the right to raise your children.
The courts look at many factors during a custody battle in divorce. If the parents have not already come to a joint custody agreement, it is up to the mediator or judge to determine if there will be sole or joint custody when the divorce proceedings have concluded. We have highlighted some of the key factors that will be used in determining the custody fight during divorce.
- Employment Status – the court will look at which parent is better suited financially to support the children. While being employed full time is a benefit, you do need to avoid the “workaholic” status. The courts want you to be there for your child, not working 100 hours a week and allowing a nanny to raise the kids.
- Health – you need to be in good mental and physical health. Your conduct in the courtroom and how you appear will be a big influence with the courts. If you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, you can expect it to be brought up by your spouse during proceedings. The same can be said for any serious health conditions that could jeopardize the care of the children.
- Existing Relationship – there needs to be a healthy relationship in place with the child. The courts will interview the children and if they are old enough (usually 12 and older), the courts will ask the children which parent they would prefer to live with after the divorce. If the motive is purely financial and there is no “real” bond with the children, it will be discovered during the hearings.
- Child Raising Skills – you need to be able to demonstrate you have the ability to care for the children at all times. Can you get them to school on time? Can you provide a caring home environment? Will you be able to help them with their homework? Do you spend quality time with the children? These are all factors in which parent will win custody during divorce.