How Does a Court Decide Which Parent "Gets" Custody of a Child
Five Practical Factors Courts Use in Deciding Child Custody
Introduction to the Best Interest of the Child Standard in Child Custody Disputes.
In Georgia and Alabama, when a court is faced with making a child custody decision, the Court applies the “best interests of the child” standard. This standard means just what it says it means. All things being equal, which parent will serve the child’s interests best? Courts look at a number of factors. When I worked as a law clerk in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, some of the factors I commonly saw considered were:
Practical Factors Courts Consider in Making a Custody Determination:
- which parent normally provides the day to day care for the child?
- which parent can tell the judge the name of the child’s teacher?
- which parent can tell the judge the name of the child’s favorite toy?
- which parent can tell the judge the name of the child’s best friend?
- which parent can say what the child’s favorite color is?
Oftentimes, the parent that cannot answer these basic questions is the one most disconnected from the child, which is a huge factor in examining a custody placement.
Deciding custody disputes, whether in Columbus, Georgia or Phenix City, Alabama is a daunting, solemaic task. Judges try to fashion custody arrangements from messy divorces as best they can with the goal of having the least impact on the child’s life.
The ability to support the child certainly is a factor the court will consider. However, the amount of money a parent earns is not determinative of custody. It is simply a factor that goes into a best interests analysis.
Lawyer Mark Jones actively practices family law in Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama. He offers free consultations in child custody cases to potential clients in the Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama area. Call Columbus Ga Family Law Lawyer Mark Jones today to discuss your case at 706-225-2555.
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