Factors Considered in Custody Decisions

When you are battling for custody of your children, it is important to understand the factors that go into a judge’s decision. While every state has a different approach, there are a few things that a judge typically must take into account before deciding on which parenting arrangements will be best for the children.

Parents’ History

One of the most important factors a judge must consider is whether one parent has a history of domestic abuse, neglect or violence. If a preponderance of evidence proves that this has occurred, it is likely that the court will not award custody to that parent.

Financial Independence

Having the financial means to care for your child is another important factor that a judge will take into consideration. It is unlikely that a parent will receive custody if they have little or no money to support their child.

Living Situation

The living situation of each parent is also a key consideration that a judge will look at. They will want to make sure that each parent has a stable housing situation and is able to provide for their child. They will also want to make sure that each parent has arranged for adequate medical coverage and emergency funds for the child should they need them.

Visitation Rights

A parent who has a history of ignoring or canceling visitation with their child is likely to lose custody. This can have a negative impact on the child’s well-being and will be considered by a judge before any custody decisions are made.

Health of the Parents

A significant illness or disability that could impede a parent’s ability to take care of their child is also something that a judge will consider when making a custody decision. This may include mental illness or personality disorders that could affect a parent’s parenting skills.

Interference With Visitation

If a parent interferes with a parent’s visitation, this will be a major consideration for a judge to consider before making any custody decisions. This can cause the court to order that parent to move out of the child’s current home and into the other parent’s house until the issue has been resolved.


Maintaining a close relationship with siblings is essential for a child’s well-being and can be an important factor in the custody decision. The court will often take into consideration the child’s siblings when determining how to split custody and visiting time.

Your Wishes

When it comes to custody, a judge will generally give your wishes more weight than those of your child. Your preferences will be a big part of the case, especially if you have gotten through child custody mediation and can clearly articulate what you think would be best for your children.

Age of the Child

While a 6-year-old might not be able to explain why they would prefer full custody, a 15-year-old is much more likely to be able to make an intelligent decision on their own. This is why it is best to have the child participate in custody negotiations if possible.

Custody is a complex and sensitive issue that requires the expertise of a qualified Miami divorce lawyer. If you are involved in a custody dispute, it is important to understand the legal aspects of your situation so that you can protect your rights and keep the process as stress-free as possible for yourself and your children.

Related Post