When determining the type of custody arrangement that is in a child’s best interests, courts look at many factors, such as:
- Which parent has been the child’s primary caretaker.
The quality of each parent’s home environment.
The parenting skills of each parent, their strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to provide for the child’s special needs, if any.
The mental and physical health of the parents, including whether either parent drinks or uses drugs.
Whether there has been domestic violence in the family.
The work schedules and child care plans of each parent.
The child’s relationships with brothers, sisters, and members of the rest of the family.
If the child is old enough, which parent the child wants to live with.
- Each parent’s ability to cooperate with the other parent and to encourage a relationship with the other parent, when it is safe to do so.