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What Do Family Judges Look for Most in Child Custody Cases?

What Do Family Judges Look for Most in Child Custody Cases?

Child custody cases are some of the most serious in law. They are taken extremely seriously by the judges presiding over them because their ruling could determine a child’s future. Because of the severity involved with child custody cases, it’s important to know how to prepare for them as clients. 

If you’re in the middle of a child custody case or have one looming in your future, you’ve come to the right place. This article will examine the most significant factors that judges look at regarding child custody cases. Based on these five factors, they will make a ruling and determine your child’s future. 

5 Family Law Factors that Influence Custody Cases

The Age of the Child 

The age of the child in question is one of the first things a judge will look at. While age is far from the only factor, it’s a good starting point for judges. This is because custody experts believe that children have different needs depending on their age, and one of the parents may not be capable of meeting those needs. The family law attorneys at Roach & Bishop will help you understand if your child’s age will play a factor in your custody case. 

How Well They Get Along With Both Parents 

As with age, your relationship with your child will play a role, but no concrete rules are in place. It’s primarily up to the judge’s determination and how they perceive your relationship. For example, if it’s apparent that separation from one of the parents will cause significant distress, it will affect the judges ruling. 

Additionally, if it’s apparent that you don’t have a strong relationship with your child, the judge will likely side with the other parent. Child custody cases are determined based on the child’s well-being, which means that the judge will likely side with the parent with the strongest relationship. 

If there are Multiple Children Involved 

Things get extra complicated when there is more than one child involved. Judges will do their best to keep siblings together because those relationships are just as meaningful as parental ones. However, the exact opposite is true if it’s apparent to the judge in question that one sibling is dominant or abusive to another. 

In those cases, the judge will split siblings up, which means you’ll likely end up with one child but not both. If that happens, the judge will consider which parent each child prefers and call psychological experts to help with the ruling. The judge will also consider each parent and their home when making their final ruling. 

Caretaking Abilities and Status of the Parents 

Finally, the judge will take a long, hard look at both parents and consider several things: the caretaking ability, the mental status, and the physical status of both parents. 

What Does Caretaking Abilities Mean in Custody Court?

Several things fall into the category of caretaking capacity. First, if a parent cannot abide by the rules that the judge sets, they likely won’t win custody. Secondly, the judge will look at your job status, income, family support, and how many hours per day you’ll have to spend with your child. Your odds are better with more money, support, and time. 

What does Mental Status Mean in Custody Court?

Mental status and well-being are extremely important in child custody cases. If a parent has a mental disorder or struggles with substance abuse, their odds of winning custody aren’t good. It will also play a negative role if you frequently associate with iffy characters or are in a romantic relationship with a questionable person. 

What does Physical Status Mean in Custody Court?

Just as a parent must be of sound mind to win custody, they must also be in good enough shape to care for their child. Being in good physical condition doesn’t mean running marathons or being a pro weight lifter. It does, however, mean that you must be physically capable of caring for a child. 

Who to Call for Help With Your Child Custody Case in Washington

While having your life in order and a good relationship with your children is a good start, winning your child custody case will take more than this. You’ll have to thoroughly and accurately present your case to a judge, which family law professionals best handle. Contact the attorney’s at Roach & Bishop to schedule a family law consultation to discuss your child custody case. Call or visit us at our Law Offices in Pasco, WA to start your family law case today. 

Feel free to read our previous article, How Can I Appeal a Child Custody Ruling?

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