[O]ver the past few months, we’ve covered several aspects of criteria that courts use to determine child custody. Living conditions, emotional and financial stability are just some of the factors that go into those decisions.
What’s Not Considered in Child Custody Case?
What is it that you wonder about, that you question whether they come into play or not? What is it that might seem important, but are never actually in play or at least not suppose to be in play, or don’t come into play unless they negatively affect the child? What are some custody facts you need to ignore?
As with most child custody rulings, the list is long and much depends on the state and individuals’ situation, but some of the major ones are listed below:
You Can Ignore Race, Gender, & Age of the Parents
1. The Race of the Child and/or Parents is not a factor. The child’s safety and well-being are the primary concerns for the court. A court of law does not discriminate based on race. It matter not what the race is of either parent.
2. The Gender of the Parents should never be considered. Neither the child’s nor the parents’ gender is ever considered in a child custody case. If the child is over the age of two, all courts consider both parents capable of taking care of their kids. Some states do take certain conditions into consideration for children less than two, but even that is becoming less common.
3. The Age of the Parents is not taken into consideration. Can a 40 year old man parent better than a 25 year old women? Regardless of how you answer that question, it is not really considered in determining custody.
4. The Sexual Orientation of the Parents should never be considered. Most courts would say there’s no difference, while a minority of courts find sexuality a determinative factor as something that can affect the best interests of the child.
More Custody Facts You Need to Ignore
5. The Religion of the Parents or Lack of It is not considered. Unless you perform children sacrifices in the backyard regularly, this usually doesn’t have much play with the judge as each parent is allow to raise their children in their religious preference as they see fit.
6. The Occupation of the Parents, unless it directly affects the child. This may come as a shock to you, but I have sat in courtrooms where mom is a dancer at a gentlemen’s club. The judge asked mom, “Do you take your daughter to work?” Mom said, “No.” to which the judge said, “I don’t see where this has relevance since the child appears to be well cared for.”
7. The Wealth or Poorness of the Parents is not usually considered. Unless you live under a bridge, it matters not how much one parent can provide more for a child than another. If both parents are capable of providing BASIC needs, being rich or poor does not matters. What matters more is which parent has more time to spend with the children, than their wealth. If both parents don’t have the time or resources to care for the basic needs of children, well that’s a different story.
There are lots of exceptions to each of the points mentioned above, but most judges do not major on these points unless it negatively affects the child in question. You should not either. What is more important is to focus on what makes you a better parent and what the judge and/or social worker is looking for. That will be the topic of tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned!
What else doesn’t/shouldn’t matter in your child custody case? What have you found?
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