How Do Courts Decide on Custody?

People often times wonder how they decide custody? Custody certainly is guided by a whole series of statutory factors and a substantial amount of case law. The facts surrounding your life are critically important to this process.

There’s one case in particular that I pay a great attention to and that is about who is the primary caretaker, if either parent is the primary caretaker. Now remember, times have changed. Moms and dads are playing equal roles in their children’s lives, whereas in the 50s, that was not the case. The courts are looking for who is the person who’s involved in the grooming of the child, who is the parent who’s involved in cooking for the child, doing the laundry for the children or child, all those kinds of issues, mundane or otherwise, that are necessary to raise that child.

That doesn’t mean that if you happen to be the parent who’s working and unable to attend to those issues that you would be denied custody. You could be a primary caretaker. Shared custody is now a very common phenomenon to the chagrin of many parents because they were the primary caretaker and they believed that role would carry over into a divorce. That is not the case.

Times have changed. Dads, in particular, have assumed a greater role with their children’s lives. If they have been the one working predominantly, they get that opportunity now to share in their children’s lives and this upsets a lot of people. Some people believe that it’s better for the children to have this stability. Stability is the common reason why parents say that they want to be able to be the primary caretaker and to limit the other parents time with their child. Stability is a factor, but when it comes to having access to your children, that has greater weight.

We’ve learned that children thrive in environments where both parents are actively involved in their children’s lives and when both parents are happy. This is a common issue. There are some subparts to custody that we talk about in some greater detail, but certainly those facts that I just mentioned are critical.

The law firm of Paris P. Eliades Law Firm LLC  is composed of experienced divorce and family law attorneys. Please contact our office in Sparta, NJ for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your divorce.