Many parents who are divorced wonder what factors will decide where their children go. In many cases the child will share time with both the parents, but usually one parent has primary custody. This is where the child will spend the most of their time. Here are a couple factors that will decide which parent gets primary custody.
1. Age Of Child
Although most states don't let the children completely choose which home they want to be in, they will let the child have a voice in the matter as they become more mature. For instance, if a 14-year-old child prefers to be with one parent during the school year because they feel like one home is more stable, the judge will take that into account.
However, if a 16-year-old child wants to live with one parent because they believe that they will get a car, the judge will not look on that as favorably. Thus, even though the child may be older, they don't necessarily get to choose for the parents. The parents still make the decision, but the children do have a say.
2. Geographical Area
Another factor that will contribute to where the child lives is where both parents live. If each parent lives close to each other, the child might split their time, even weekly, with each parent. This is why many divorced couples choose to live close by each other.
However, if one parent moves across the country, this will affect the decision on where the child goes. In many cases the child will stay where they are comfortable and where they are settled in school. However, this is not the only factor, it also depends which parent is more stable, and where the children will be healthiest. Yet, geographical area does play a role.
3. Stable Environment
One of the most important factors in deciding where children will go is what home is more stable. If one parent is making a personal choice that might endanger the child, such as parties at the house, excessive drinking, drug use, or a live in boyfriend or girlfriend, this might affect the choice of the judge.
If you are hoping to get your child in your home, it is important that you make your home life as stable as possible. This will be one of the best ways to appeal your case.
By understanding the factors that will affect the custody of your child, you can be prepared for anything the judge decides. Contact a local lawyer like Gary Eschbacher for more information.