There are a lot of things that could affect custody arrangements of a child. These could be factors such as income, the child’s age and preferences, and the availability of the parent seeking custody. When preparing to petition for custody of a child, parents might overlook how specific living arrangements can impact the decision.
What is considered when looking at living arrangements?
In family law, living arrangement refers to the overall status of the household. A judge wants to see what will become normal for the child’s everyday situation. Generally, factors that can contribute to living arrangement include:
- Space of the house vs. how many people reside in it
- Parent income
- Age of the children
- Age of the parent
- Location of the home
- Type of home
- Other adults in the home
These are all things that a judge will assess depending on the location and background of the household in question. Overall, the court wants to make sure the child is placed somewhere they’ll be safe and comfortable.
What are some red flags in family law?
The court will always look first and foremost at the ability of the parent or guardian with custody to provide for the child. If there’s no question about the parent’s ability to take care of the child based on their age or income, they court will move onto examining the residence.
Generally, every child should have their own room with a fair amount of privacy. The court will also look at other adults in the house to ensure they are trustworthy as well as where the house is located to ensure that the child will be close to school and far from danger.
Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so a parent may wonder how to best represent themselves before a judge. An attorney may help a parent understand their options and prepare for court.