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Child Custody: What Factors Affect a Judge’s Decision?

When most couples divorce, they have a marital settlement agreement that outlines your child custody arrangement. This agreement will stipulate how much time each parent has with the children. It will also outline who has the kids for certain holidays. Overall, if anybody were to look at your marital settlement agreement, they would know, in a glance, what the custody arrangement is. If your ex tries to change this arrangement, you may need to retain a skilled Greenville child custody lawyer. Or, you may want to petition the court to change the arrangement. Either way, you’re better off if you have a family law attorney in Greenville in your corner.

Here, we will briefly discuss the various factors the judge will take into account when making their decision regarding child custody. We will also explain why it’s in your best interest to have a Greenville child custody lawyer represent you in this kind of matter.

One of the Most Important Things is Where the Two Parents Live

One of the first things the judge will look at is where the two parents live. The goal is to keep the kids in the same school, with the same friends. The courts also want to make sure the children live a comparable lifestyle at both mom and dad’s house. How much time they spend at your house depends on where your house is. If your house is too far from the children’s schools, the judge is not going to want them sleeping there on school nights.

Another factor that will impact the judge’s decision is the type of home you have. Do you live in a one-bedroom or studio apartment? Will there be appropriate sleeping arrangements for the kids? The judge may also consider the neighborhood you live in. If it is not a safe environment for a child, your child custody may be limited.

The Judge Isn’t Going to Want to Disrupt Your Children’s Lives Any More than Necessary

When you go before the judge, they do not want to hear you and your spouse bicker back and forth. They only want to hear from your Greenville child custody lawyer. If you don’t have an attorney, then you will have to go up against your ex’s lawyer. The judge is not going to have any sympathy for you if you didn’t hire a family law attorney in Greenville. They will expect you to keep up with the other side’s attorney and hold your own. This can be very hard to do, especially when you’re dealing with something this emotional.

Do Both Parents Work or Is One a Stay-at-Home Parent?

One of the biggest factors that will influence the judge’s decision is whether you work full-time or at able to be home with the kids all day. Now, it wouldn’t be fair to say that the courts favor parents who don’t work. If the kids are in school all day, there is no reason why both parents shouldn’t work. The courts don’t encourage any parent to not work. However, if you have always been a stay-at-home parent, the judge may lean toward you when it comes to primary custody. However, if both parents work, the judge will try to determine which parent is in the best position to spend as much time with the children as possible.

Can Your Greenville Child Custody Lawyer Prove You Were the Children’s Primary Caretaker?

It will be easier to get you primary custody if your family law attorney in Greenville can prove that you were the primary caretaker before the divorce. It makes sense that the kids would make their primary home the place where they spend the most time with one parent. If you don’t work and have always been a stay-at-home parent, there is a good chance the judge would grant you primary custody. However, if you work fifty or sixty hours a week and rarely take care of the kids on your own, it will be much harder to get a new custody order. The judge wants to make sure there is an able-bodied parent there with the kids physically, not just financially.

Call and See if One of Our Family Law Attorneys in Greenville Can Help

If you have served with a custody motion, you are probably feeling all sorts of emotions. First, you’re likely angry at your ex for not giving you notice that they were going to do this. You’re probably scared as well. If you currently have primary custody of your children, the last thing you want is the court interfering. It may seem to you that your ex-spouse is just trying to punish you. So many of our clients tell our family law attorney in Greenville that their spouse never wanted anything to do with the kids. Now that the divorce is final and there is nothing left to fight about, you get a motion in the mail. The best thing to do is to call a Greenville child custody lawyer. Our attorneys not only know the law, but they also know how the judge will rule in situations like yours.

We recommend that you call and schedule an appointment with one of our family law attorneys in Greenville as soon as you receive a copy of the motion. Or, if you are the one who wants to initiate a child custody motion, we can handle that for you too. We understand that issues like child custody can be very difficult to discuss. If you aren’t on good terms with your children’s other parent, the courts may be the only way for you to communicate. We will do our best to negotiate an arrangement with your ex so you can avoid going to court. Even a simple motion hearing can require two or three appearances before the judge. This means you’ll have to take off two or three times to go to court.

With so much at stake, you don’t want to handle this all on your own. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to call our office as soon as possible. We can arrange for you to meet with one of our Greenville child custody lawyers right away.

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