When parents file for divorce, a family court judge determines a suitable child custody agreement. The judge considers which arrangement is in the minor's best interest, and they consider several factors to ensure the youngster has positive, supportive relationships with both parents. Here are a few of the factors judges weigh.

3 Considerations When Determining a Child Custody Agreement

1. Which Parent Is the Primary Caregiver

A judge asks questions to establish how parents divided day-to-day caregiving responsibilities before the separation. The primary caregiver is the one who took the child to doctor appointments, school, and extracurricular activities, as well as prepared their meals, attended parent-teacher conferences, and performed other daily child-rearing tasks.


Psychologists have found that a child forms an emotional bond with the parent who provides daily care. This attachment aids a youngster's developmental growth, and a judge may award primary physical custody to the primary caregiver. Parents who equally contributed to daily caregiving may share physical custody.

2. Each Parent's Living Situation

The judge's parenting plan should provide the child with stability and continuity, so they'll consider the type of home each parent can provide. A stable living situation may include remaining in the family house or getting their own apartment during the divorce, and this parent may be awarded physical custody to provide the minor with security.

The parent staying with friends or relatives while transitioning after the divorce may be awarded visitation rights. The custody arrangement should cause minimal disruptions to the child's established routine, so a judge will also consider how far each parent lives from the youngster's school, relatives, and extracurricular activities.

3. Each Parent's Physical & Mental Health

Whether a parent has a physical disability or mental illness weighs into the custody decision. The judge assesses the severity of a condition to determine whether it may affect the parent's ability to fulfill their child's daily needs. If the minor has a physical or mental condition, custody will likely be awarded to the parent that's better equipped to provide for the youngster's special needs.


If you want to create a child custody arrangement, turn to Darryl L. Jones, Attorney at Law, in Palmer, AK. This attorney and his team have served clients in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna area since 1988. They help divorcing parents solve complicated family law issues to achieve a steady life for their shared children. Call (907) 746-9851 to schedule a consultation.