If my husband andI are divorcing, will he get custody of our daughter since I work full-time and go to school?

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Family Law, Washington


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding custody of your child.  Child custody determinations can vary depending on the state governing the child custody agreement.  However, there are common factors that every family court will examine when determining child custody.  Additionally, child custody will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  All states will consider the “best interest of the child” test.  The following are factors that will be considered under the best interest of the child test.

First, the court will look to the parties’ respective fitness as parents.  This includes morality, character, serious mental illness, evidence of neglect or abuse, and whether the contestants will encourage the relationship with the other parent.  Next, the court examines the characteristics of the proposed home.  The court wants to ensure that the child will be in a safe environment.  Next, the court will look into the preference of the child.  This alone will not determine which parent has custody, but depending on the child’s age, the court will take this into consideration.  Lastly, the court examines either parent’s intent to remove the child from the state.  The court will take into account all of these factors to determine custody to be in the best interest of the child. 

As you can see, the court will not punish a parent for having a full-time job and continuing your education by taking your child out of your custody.  If you have further concerns you should contact a family law attorney in your area to assist you in the child custody hearing.


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