How Does the Judge Determine Custody?

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Going through a divorce can not only impact yourself but all those who are in the family. Great concern and consideration is taken when children are involved in a divorce.

“Whenever a custody issue is presented to a judge in court, the judge’s duty is to uphold the “best interest of the child.” In order for a judge to determine which parent should have custody, or if custody should be split, in an attempt to do what is best for the child, the judge will consider various factors to help make this decision. These factors are specifically listed within the appropriate State statute”.

Below is a list of specifics to give you a better idea on what the best interests of a child are. Each category is carefully studied and considered by the judge who is assigning custody.

Age of the Children

In most cases with younger children, the mother will receive custody, especially if she has been the primary care giver.

Each Parent’s Living Situation

This one is harder to consider. In most cases where one parent is staying in the family home the children will stay with them. Stability in a child’s life is important to consider. If you are crashing in your friend’s living room it is less likely the children will come in tow. “If you truly want to spend a significant amount of time with your children, make sure your living situation reflects that. The proximity of your home to your spouse’s may also factor in to the judge’s decision. The closer you are, the more likely the judge will order a time-sharing plan that gives both parents significant time with the kids. The location of their school and their social and sports activities may also matter”.

Each Parent’s Willingness to Support the other’s Relationship with the Children

This factor looks at the willingness of each spouse to cooperate with one another. Cooperation is needed to maintain and create schedules and provide easy transition for the children.

Each Parent’s Relationship with the Children before the Divorce

The judge with determine whether the time and effort spent by each spouse has been sincere and in the best interest of the child.

Child Preference

Depending on the age of the child a judge will ask what their ideal living situation would be.

While these may be some of the factors the judge will take into consideration when determining custody, each case is unique. Make sure to talk to an attorney at Larsen Law Firm for more details specifically regarding your case. We at Larsen Law Firm are happy to serve the Utah Valley and the greater Provo area in the areas of personal injury and family law, we hope that this small article will be helpful, but it is no substitute for the solid legal counsel that we can provide in person. Please feel free to schedule a consultation today with one of our Provo Attorneys.

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