Every state uses a standard where they consider what’s in the interest of the child. It’s sometimes a subjective determination that’s based on the experience of the judge in the case. In some cases, like nursing babies, the mother will get custody because the baby relies on her for nourishment. Unless there’s extreme harm to the child from harm parent, the court will look at a variety of factors in the case for each parent.
Each Parent’s Living Situation
The spouses’ living situations will be judged to determine who has the better situation. It’s not about who has the biggest house. The location of the home in relation to the child’s school and activities will be a factor in the case. If one parent lives further away from everything the child knows, that could be a mark against that parent getting custody of the child. The stability of the child’s environment is more important than the size of the home.
Own Room and Bed
When a parent has to move back in with family, it doesn’t have to be a sign of instability. The court will look at the living situation in the home and ask if the child has her own room and her own bed. If the family home is near the child’s school and community, that’s a consideration that the court will take into account too.
Other Factors the Court Considers
Depending on the dynamic of the family, the child might even be in a better situation. For example, grandparents could be retired and able to give the child extra attention while the parent is at work. It’s added support in the home, so that the child doesn’t have to leave to go to the babysitter or spend time away from home. An additional support network for the spouse with custody will be taken as a positive situation.
The court will take a look at the environment in which the child lives. As long as the child has her own bed, the court will look beyond that to the health of the relationship with the family. The court will want to know how long the child and parent can stay in the home. If it’s not a permanent solution, the court will want to know the spouse’s plans for the future. Courts like to know that the child won’t be moved continuously. The judge will want the child in as stable an environment as possible especially due to the current divorce, which likely has shaken up the child’s world enough.
Hire a Lawyer
When you’re unsure if your situation is ideal for gaining custody, a lawyer can help you examine your life like the court will. He or she will be able to make recommendations on what you should change. The family members might have to get involved and testify in court during the divorce hearings too.
When you have a stable environment for the child with loving family who will be a support network, it can be a good situation and not a negative one. A lawyer will help you prepare your case, give you advice on how to make sure you get custody and bring your case to the judge in a way that will emphasize the good situation you have with your family.