Being prepared to address child custody concerns during divorce can be aided along by knowing how child custody is commonly determined. Child custody is broken down into different types of custody and is based on an evaluation of a variety of factors divorcing parents should be prepared to consider and discuss.

Types of child custody

There are several types of child custody that parents should work out. Physical custody is one type of child custody that refers to who the child lives with. Legal custody refers to which parent will make decisions concerning the child’s education, healthcare and religious upbringing or if both parents will. Both physical and legal custody can be joint custody or sole custody.

Child custody factors

Child custody factors are used to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Factors that may be evaluated when deciding on the best child custody arrangement for the child can include the physical and developmental age of the child; the wishes of the child based on their age; the child’s care needs; the relationships of each of the parents with the child and which parent has been the primary caretaker for the child; the child’s relationship with other family members or caregivers; the living situation of each of the parents; the physical and mental health of the parents; any abuse in the family; if the parents are able to cooperate and communicate effectively with one another; and another other relevant factors.

The overall goal when developing a child custody arrangement is to promote stability and consistency for the child and to ensure the child custody arrangement will provide for the child’s overall safety and well-being. These factors are used to help the family law court, and the parents of the child, develop a child custody plan that is best for the child which is why it is helpful to be familiar with the child custody process and what it includes.