While you plan to file a divorce, if you consult a child custody attorney regarding the custody of your children, you would come to know that the court no longer grants custody of the children to the mother just like that. There are many other factors which are being considered while deciding on the custody of the children in the event of their parents getting separated.
These factors help in deciding that whether it would be a joint custody or sole custody. In case the court agrees on giving sole custody to the father or the mother, the visitation norms are also being decided basis these factors. Let us take a look.
Factors that influence the child custody
There are many factors which are being taken into consideration by the court. The ones mentioned below are the major ones and do not follow any particular order of precedence.
- If the child is over the age of 13 years, the preference of the child is being given importance by the court while deciding on who would get the custody of the child
- If both the parents wish to give the custody to the mother or the father alone, that is being considered as well. The problem arises if the parents contest for getting the custody.
- Relationship of the child with his or her mother and father. If the child is not comfortable staying with any one of them, that would get reflected in his or preference as mentioned in the first point.
- Whether any of the parents have a background of behaving in a violent manner in the family or not is also being taken into consideration
- The physical and mental health of the parents as well as the children
- Earning potential of both the parents
- The home environment that would be provided by each parent to the child
- Testimonials and recommendations of neutral parties and witnesses
Third party custody
In case both the parents are not willing to take the custody of the child, or if the judge feels that none of the parents would be able to provide the right living environment to the child, the custody of the child may be given to non parents like grandparents, aunts or uncles and close family friends as well. While the term custody may not be legal in this case in many states, the concept remains the same.
To apply for third party custody or guardianship of the child, a non-parental custody petition has to be filed by the child support lawyer of the interested party. The petition has to contain reasons and justifications on why the court should grant the guardianship to that person and not the parents. If the court finds the arguments and justifications valid for the child’s upbringing and future, it would grant the third party custody to the applicant party.