Child custody can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. While every parent wants to support their child and do what is best for them, it is also important for parents to know the factors that the court will consider when determining child custody.
What factors will the court consider in a child custody case?
Generally, the court makes decisions about a child’s living arrangement based on what is in their best interest. However, many different details go into that “best interest,” including:
- Your child’s relationship with you and their other parent—Does one parent primarily care for your child? The court may consider that support when determining custody.
- The wishes of your child—Children in Kentucky can make their wishes known during a custody case, though state law does not specify an age at which the court should consider those wishes.
- Your child’s relationship with siblings and extended family—Whether your child has siblings or half-siblings that they want to remain close to or other family and friends who they value, the court may consider those relationships when creating a custody arrangement.
- The child’s needs—Your child’s need at home, at school and in other aspects of life will factor into a custody decision.
- The health of both parent and child—Are you physically and mentally able to care for your child? What arrangement will best support your child’s health?
- Any evidence of domestic violence—In addition to other aspects of mental and physical health, the court will likely consider any evidence of abuse in the home.
In many cases, parents may wish to speak to an attorney to explore their options and to build a legal strategy that supports their rights as a parent. While custody battles may be challenging, it is possible to maintain a strong relationship with your child.