Barri Payne, Durham Family Law Attorney & Mediator Durham Family Law Specialist, Barri Payne

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How do Courts Determine Child Custody?

What does the Court look at to determine child custody?

The Court can consider anything which may be relevant to what custodial schedule is in the child’s best interest. These issues often include:

  • How the caregiving responsibilities were shared during the marriage and since separation;
  • The age, maturity level and special needs of the children;
  • The parties work schedules and lifestyles;
  • The distance between the parent’s homes and the suitability of each home;
  • The ability of each parent to meet the children’s needs and participate in the child’s education and health care;
  • The effectiveness of the communication between the parents;
  • The custodial schedule which has been exercised since separation;
  • The children’s wishes (if of suitable age and discretion); and
  • The occurrence of any domestic violence or substance abuse.

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