How does the court decide child custody?
Deciding on the issue of child custody during a divorce is never fun. If the parents are unable to come to an agreement, the courts make the decision.
In order to make a decision, the judge will consider a variety of factors, and the biggest one is what is in the child’s best interests.
Child custody basics
According to Ohio Laws and Rules, a judge often allocates a plan for shared parenting. This allows both parents to share legal and physical custody of the child. In other cases, the judge may designate one parent to be the legal guardian and primary caretaker, while the other parent provides support and has continuing contact with the child.
One of the considerations the judge takes into effect is the wishes of the child if the child is old and mature enough. This is in conjunction with other best interests considerations.
Best interests considerations
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, there are certain guiding principles that determine what is in the best interest of the child. The judge will take into consideration the financial capabilities of each parent to provide for the child’s basic needs, such as housing, food, education and medical care. Other factors include the physical, mental and emotional health of not only the parents but also the child.
The judge considers the age of the child and the specific needs associated with it. Another factor is the type of relationship the child has with the parents, siblings and other family members. The judge also investigates whether there is any violence or abuse in the home.