Child CustodyWhat Is Child Custody?

Child custody issues are usually handled during a legal proceeding where a court will determine how much custody a parent will have over a child when the parents have difficulty making that decision on their own.  The parent who wins custody over a child will then become the primary decision maker in the child’s life.  This means that the custodial parent will make decisions in regards to the child’s education, religious upbringing, and health care.

There Are Several Types if Child Custody a Court May Grant

A court may grant one of many different types of custody to a parent.  These include:

  • Temporary custody
  • Exclusive custody
  • Joint custody
  • Third party custody

Courts Look to the “Best Interest of the Child” When Determining Which Parent Gets Custody

Although granting custody of a child to one parent may be difficult, courts will generally decide which home to place the child in by looking to “the best interest of the child.”  In doing this, courts may consider the following:

  • The child’s wishes
  • The child’s parents wishes
  • The child’s relationship with his or her parent
  • The child’s relationship with his or her siblings
  • The child’s relationship with other people who may substantially affect the child’s best interest
  • The child’s comfort in his or her current home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of those involved in taking care of the child

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