If you are unable to reach an agreement with your co-parent on a parenting plan or visitation schedule, the courts will step in to make a custody decision. This custody decision is based on the best interests of the child, which considers a number of factors/circumstances before reaching a conclusion on the matter.
While not explicitly recorded in the statutes, these factors are guiding suggestions that the courts can use at their own discretion when deciding a custody agreement in the best interests of the child…
- Depending on the child’s age, their wishes on the matter;
- Any substance abuse by either parent;
- Any incidents involving domestic violence acts committed by a parent;
- The parent’s home environment and neighboring environments;
- The safety and health of the parents;
- The child’s developmental needs;
- A parent’s ability to provide for the child;
- The relationship between parent and child.
These guidelines are not the end-all-be-all, but they do serve as a frame for how the courts will determine what is in the child’s best interests. Oftentimes, the courts try to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible.
Have questions about child custody? Contact Rech Law, P.C. to schedule a consultation!