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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

What a Judge Considers During Child Custody Hearings 10-14-2015

What a Judge Considers During Child Custody Hearings

When a couple divorces, they go through a number of proceedings in order to determine various aspects such as property division, alimony, and more. One of the most important factors, however, arises when children are involved. Child custody hearings have the risk of becoming contentious and often require the decision-making of a judge in order to come up with a working arrangement. If it gets to this point, the judge will consider various factors in order to determine the child custody agreement. We’ve put together a list of these considerations.

Living Situation of Each Parent

In child custody cases, the judge will most likely consider the living arrangements that each parent currently has. For instance, if one of the parents is living in an area away from the children’s school or they are not upholding the most hygienic habits, this could result in the judge granting custody to the other parent based on his or her living situation. The living situation is what allows for stability in the lives of the children and maintaining this is important.

The Bond Between Each Parent and Children

There are many instances in which one parent has a stronger bond with the children than the other. This is often due to spending more time with the children or participating in their activities. This bond can be used as a determining factor with regards to child custody as it affects the children and their relationship with their parents. Quite often, the stronger bond wins out in custody battles.

Any History of Abuse

It goes without saying that any history of abuse or neglect between one of the parents and the children will be a huge deciding factor in child custody decisions. The judge will not place the children in harm’s way. This can also result in limiting the contact that the children and abusive parent can have, including making visits supervised.

Age of the Children and Continuity

It is a common thought that most judges elect to grant mothers the custody of smaller children simply because of the nurturing and caregiving, but this isn’t always the case. The age is often considered, but continuity is another big factor. If one parent has been the primary caregiver and has built a stronger bond, it can affect child custody agreements. Furthermore, if the children are older and school and friends play a factor, the judge may grant custody to the parent that allows for this continuity.

Preference of the Children

At a certain age, children are granted the permission to speak with a judge about their preferences regarding with whom they would like to reside. In California, the court shall consider the preference of the children if they are of sufficient age and have the capacity to form an intelligent preference.

The Best Interests of the Children

At the end of the day, the judge is always most interested in making a judgment that is in the best interests of the children. They will consider all of the factors involved and make a decision that allows the children to grow and be raised in the healthiest manner — mentally and physically — possible.

Child custody cases can be extremely complex and making sure you understand the factors a judge will consider is important. Our San Bernardino family law lawyers at James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys are dedicated to helping you reach the outcome you desire. If you have a family law issue, reach out to our firm today for your free case evaluation and learn how we can help you move forward with your child custody case.

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Categories: Child Custody

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