When determining the custody and visitation of children, the court reviews and weighs what is referred to as the “Best-Interests of the Child” factors. These factors include the age of the child, the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ ability to co-parent and maintain a relationship with the other, the parent’s involvement in the child’s life, “other factors as the court deems necessary,” among others. Recently, the Court held that the stability of the child’s living environment was a material consideration in determining physical custody.
Armstrong v. Armstrong
The parties in Armstrong v. Armstrong had a contentious relationship that involved multiple civil and criminal hearings. Both parents had findings of fault against them in court. The Court awarded primary physical custody, however, to Father. In determining that Father should be awarded primary physical custody, the Court noted that he was able to provide a “stable living situation” including a level of certainty and stability for the child. Additionally, while Father did have some negative attributes, Mother’s behavior was increasingly erratic and unstable, and therefore the Father’s ability to provide a “stable living environment” outweighed negative attributes of his own.
The Court considers many factors when determining the best interest of the child in establishing custody and visitation schedules. It is invaluable to have an experienced legal team who can fight for your custodial rights. The attorneys at Smith | Strong, PLC are ready to advocate for you when you are faced with a custody and visitation matter and the people you want trusted the most are now against you.
Editorial Assistance by: Kala Swenson