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What factors are considered when deciding child custody?

We know how difficult a child custody dispute can be. Child custody decisions are among the most emotional and challenging legal processes in family law. Deciding where your children will live and who will make critical choices about their care is an essential part of any divorce proceeding. Safeguard your legal rights and pursue the best interests of the child by enlisting the help of our experienced staff of family attorneys.

Do you know the factors that are considered by a judge, mediator or other decision-maker during a child custody proceeding? Many parents are woefully under-educated about the considerations that go into making these important choices. Not only is the emotional bond between parent and child evaluated, but the best interests of the child are considered in terms of educational and social opportunities. For example, changing schools and leaving groups of friends behind could be considered traumatic for a youngster.

In addition, parents' ability to care for the child are assessed during the child custody proceeding. This can include personal and financial factors. Further, a judge will take into consideration previous care practices related to the child -- that is, who tended to spend the most time with the child while the family was still intact.

Even if you think the cards are stacked against you during your child custody hearing, you may have a better chance at joint or sole custody than you imagine. You should not eliminate yourself from the potential custodial parent position. Instead, parents often benefit from developing a comprehensive legal strategy with a team of experienced professionals. Increase your likelihood of a favorable outcome in your child custody case by relying on our team of attorneys. You can learn more on our child custody webpage.

Source: Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C., "Child Custody" Sep. 17, 2014

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