In order to determine which parent should be awarded custody of the children in a divorce case, the court will evaluate several areas, including the following:

  • Which parent will be able to spend the most time with the child
  • The parents desire to have custody
  • The child’s age
  • The child’s wishes concerning custody
  • Emotional and physical stability of the parents
  • Home environment
  • Has either parent been convicted of child abuse
  • Which parent is most likely to comply with court ordered visitation schedules

The court’s primary concern will be the best interests of the child, and the court may choose to question the child/children regarding their preferences and their relationships with both parents and any siblings. If a divorcing couple desires to have joint custody, the court will also consider this possibility providing the parents agree on a written parenting plan presented to the court concerning the responsibilities of each one regarding the healthcare, education, and in which home the child/children will reside. In addition, the parenting plan will include how any disputes are to be handled, such as through a mediator. Even if a court awards custody to one parent over the other, the order can be amended at a later date if one or the other parent fails to comply with the court’s decision. Family Law Representation in Tempe To assist you through your divorce and child custody process, contact the Tempe family law attorney Ronald L. Kossack today, and learn more about your legal options and protecting your rights.