If you are involved in a custody dispute, you might wonder what factors a court uses to make a decision about custody. The standard used by courts is whatever is in the best interests of the child, but how this is determined can vary among jurisdictions and even judges. However, there are certain factors that Wisconsin courts are supposed to take into consideration.
Parents and relationships
In general, courts make an effort to allow the child to spend time with both parents unless the child would be unsafe. Courts will consider the wishes of both parents with children along with the child’s relationship with their parents and other family members and how the child custody arrangement would affect that. In addition, a court looks at how the parents communicate with one another and whether one might be likely to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child. In other words, if you appear unnecessarily combative in court, this could cause problems for you, so it is important to keep your emotions in check.
The needs of the child
Courts also look at things such as how the child will adjust in the school and community nearby and whether child care needs will be met. It considers which parent has been the main caregiver up to this point and whether either parent has mental or emotional problems that could affect the child’s well-being. When determining the exact child care schedule, courts may also look at the age of the child to decide what would allow for the smoothest adjustment.
Some parents find the elements of a divorce related to child custody the most difficult part. However, by focusing on the best interests of the child as the court does and working to co-parent effectively, you can help make your child’s adjustment easier.