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How do the courts decide custody?

If you're going through a divorce, you probably have a lot of questions. Who will get the house? Will I have to pay spousal support? In all likelihood, at the top of your list is a question about child custody. That's because, at the end of the day, the most important thing for many parents is how much time they'll be able to spend with their children.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the factors the courts will consider when determining what's in the best interests of the child:

  • Financial stability. Does the parent have the income and assets to be able to give the child everything he or she needs?
  • Habits. The courts will factor in behaviors like drinking and smoking, which could indicate bad judgment.
  • The bond. The emotional connection the child shares with the parent.
  • The child's choice. Once the child reaches a certain age, they will be able to state their preference.
  • A big move. Would moving the child to another household disrupt their quality of life?
  • History. Has the parent ever been accused of child abuse? Is there anything in the parent's medical history that raises a red flag?

If you're looking to win custody, it's important to always keep the child's best interests in mind. Your household, behavior and history should all indicate to the courts that you can provide a stable life. In order to present your case, you may want to seek the counsel of a family law attorney.

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Knoxville, TN 37922

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