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What factors are considered for Child Custody?

The overall standard is the "best interests of the child." Within that standard, the court considers "the totality of the circumstances." That said , there are a number of other specific factors that the court considers when awarding custody when dealing with two biological parents.

Overall factors
The Judge will generally consider the stability of the child's current arrangement, each parent's home environment and financial ability to meet the child's needs, any arrangements to care for the child when the parent is unavailable, who has been the primary caretaker for the child in the years (or months) leading up to the custody filing, any drug/alcohol use by either parent, the mental & physical health of the parties, adverse sexual misconduct of either parent, domestic violence, as well as the child's preferences.

Other factors
The court will also assess each parent's willingness to foster a relationship between the other parent and the child, any denial of access to the child, as well as any abuse or neglect of the child. Finally, the Judge will assess the parties conduct as the case is proceeding, including conduct both in and out of the courtroom.

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