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Who Gets the Child in a Divorce?

This is Todd Burnham, the Founding Partner of Burnham Law, and an experienced family law lawyer with a superb record. This blog talks about the factors that go into determining custody after a divorce.

Who Gets the Kids? – It Depends

When a judge is making a decision about which party will get custody of a child or children, they consider many factors.

  • What is in the best interest of the child?
  • Is the child in a position to have his or her own opinions known?
    • Are they old enough?
    • Are they mature enough to make that decision?
  • What kind of parent is each party?
  • Are their any safety risks for the child?
    • Drugs and Alcohol?
    • Verbal abuse?
    • Psychological abuse?
    • Mental abuse?
    • Physical abuse?
    • Financial abuse?
    • Control or harassment?
  • Is there domestic violence?

All of these factors play into who gets the child.

Equally important is the question of who has decision-making power. Is it joint decision-making? Is joint decision-making in the best interest of the child? In the case of domestic violence, for example, joint decision making probably is not a good idea for the child, because it is likely that one party is going to be bullying the other.

The Devil is in the Details

Family law is a very nuanced area of law. A great deal of it comes down to the minutiae of extremely specific case law. The answers are not always in black and white.

At Burnham Law, we provide for your family. Our goal is always to get what is best for you and your children. Not so the case for every lawyer in the game. Frankly, there are lots of hacks jumping into family law to follow the money. And that’s not effective lawyering.

There are so many different pieces to these cases, but the one thing to remember is that you want what is in the best interests of your child. Unemotional, business-minded, data-driven, what’s in the best interests of the child or children? And when you look at it from that perspective, you can really get a gut check on the situation.

There are Always More Factors

Presumably, in most cases, both parties love the child or children. But does that mean that 50/50 parenting time is in the best interests? What if the child is an infant, or is nursing? In cases like that, 50/50 might not make sense.

This article could go on for thousands of words if I tried to list all the different factors that go into the decision. There is an enormous body of case law that can affect it. There is also the statute: The Best Interest Standard.

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