Custody of a child is a very tricky subject because the laws have changed in many states. Judges no longer automatically give custody of a child to his or her unmarried mother. Nowadays, judges review several factors and determine the arrangement that would be in the childâ€™s best interest. Both parents will want to have an attorney present to stand by their side in a custody dispute. The judge will review the following factors to determine where the child belongs:
Financial stability will not be a main factor in making a custody decision, but it will be one of the areas that the judge will review. He or she will want to ensure that the child has all the essentials such as shelter, food, water and the like.
The judge will review the lifestyles of both parents. He will look at whether the parents have a busy lifestyle that involves drug usage, dating, instability and so forth. The best life for a child is one that has as few changes and challenges as possible. The judge will consider the circumstances.
A criminal background may affect the judgeâ€™s decision if the crime is recent. Drug crimes and sexual crimes against children will weigh heavily on a parentâ€™s fitness in the eyes of the judge.
Relationship With Parents and Extended Family
The courts will review the relationship that the child has with the parents and the extended family. He or she will speak to all members of the family and try to speak with the child, as well. The judge will be able to tell if the child has a close relationship with the mother, father and any of the extended family members. A custody decision may go a different direction if the judge finds that one of the parents tried to alienate the other one for personal gain.
Getting Help With a Custody Case
Having a lawyer involved in the case is imperative for mothers and fathers. Cordell and Cordell is a law firm that can take an objective look at the case and decide the best strategy for keeping the mother and father connected to the child. The first step in the process is making a brief phone call to schedule an initial consultation. The attorney will invite the person in and start fighting for his or her rights immediately.