If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and you have kids, you may be concerned about who will get custody of the children. This can be an emotional experience for the entire family to have to endure. However, it is common for one of the parents to get sole custody of any of the children that are part of the family unit. Knowing the ways child custody is decided upon may be helpful to you if you're going this difficult situation.
One of the major deciding factors of who will have sole custody of the child is the income that each parent makes. It's important to be financially stable before you may be rewarded the legal responsibility of caring for the child.
This will typically require some type of proof of your income, such as a W-2 or old tax return that states your income separately.
Being able to have to have a habitable place for your children to live is of extreme importance to the court. The living arrangements for the child will be fully investigated before custody will be granted.
Your home should have electricity, water and be capable of protecting your child from the elements of the weather. Additionally, the location in which you live will be considered and other factors, such as the amount of criminal activity in your neighborhood and many others.
It will be necessary to prove you are physically and mentally healthy before you will be rewarded custody of your child. This may require a look into all of your medical records for the necessary proof showing you're capable of raising a child.
Who the child prefers to live with will have an impact on the final decision. The judge presiding over the case will typically meet with the child and ask a series of questions. Some of these are listed below:
- Why do you prefer to live with one parent over the other one?
- Has either parent verbally or physically abused you?
- Do you want to stay in your current school?
- Do you want to visit the parent who doesn't have sole custody of you occasionally?
The key to getting sole custody of your child is by proving you are financially and physically capable of providing a safe home for this individual. Be sure to consult with a family lawyer (like those at Cronk & Waterman PLC) to discuss any additional questions or concerns you may have.