What factors are considered in granting custody?

If a parent has a sexual relationship outside of marriage, how does that affect a court’s decision on custody?

In most states, affairs or nonmarital sexual relations are not a factor in deciding custody unless it can be shown that the relationship has harmed the child. A discreet affair during the marriage might not be a significant factor. Similarly, if, after the marriage is over, a parent lives with a person to whom he or she is not married, the live-in relationship by itself may not be a major factor in deciding custody, although the quality of the relationship between the child and the live-in partner can be an important factor in a custody dispute.

If the parent’s nonmarital sexual relationship or relationships have placed the child in embarrassing situations or caused significant, provable stress to the child, then the relationship(s) would be a negative factor. In a few states, courts are more inclined to assume that a parent’s nonmarital sexual relationship is harmful to the child. The issue of a parent’s sexual conduct can be one in which individual judges may have personal biases that influence their decisions. public.findlaw.com/

Child Custody and Visitation Rights

To win a child custody case, you must usually demonstrate that you and your environment are most likely to serve the best interests of the child. Determining what constitutes ?best interest? is often an elusive question. Certainly, it includes the educational best interest of the child. The court will be interested in knowing which parent, and which household, is most likely to promote the academic objectives and educational success of the child. It also certainly includes the health, safety and welfare of the child.

Sometimes, a parent is troubled by the fact that the children’s father or mother is now living with a new girlfriend or boyfriend who poses a danger or a risk to the children. ca divorce solutions.com/

Will it affect the custody decision if I live with my boyfriend?


Alex’s Question: My child is 9 months old and I am currently going though a child visitation/custody case with the father. I am now dating someone else and have been for a year. Will it be okay if I start to live with this person or will it affect the courts opinion of me?

Brette’s Answer:  Whenever you live with someone it becomes a consideration in custody because that person is part of the child’s environment.
woman’s divorce.com/

Best interests or best interests of the child

is the doctrine used by most courts to determine a wide range of issues relating to the well-being of children. The most important of these issues concern questions that arise upon the divorce or separation of the children’s parents: With whom will the children live?; How much contact (previously termed “access”, or in some jurisdictions, “visitation”) will the parents, legal guardian, or other parties be allowed (or required) to have?; and To whom and by whom will child support be paid and in what amount?

Safety & Welfare: The court’s “primary concern” is to assure the child’s health, safety and welfare. kinseylaw.com/

What is the best interest of the child?

It is what judges must consider to make their decisions about custody and visitation.  To decide what is best for a child, the court will consider:

  the age of the child,
  the health of the child,
  the emotional ties between the parents and the child,
  the ability of the parents to care for the child,
  history of family violence and/or substance abuse, and
  the child’s ties to school, home, and his or her community. 


Family Law Code §3000-3465

See our webpage on Best interests


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What if a child doesn’t want to visit the Non-Custodial Parent?   Check out this discussion website


Related Pages in  Child Custody


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