Who Gets Custody of a Child in Divorce?

Who Gets Custody of a Child in Divorce?

It was once a presumed that children need to always stay with their mother after a divorce. A lot of states no longer respect that assumption, nevertheless. (Actually, many states have passed laws declaring that there is no custody inclination for women over men.)

In spite of this change, mothers are a lot more likely to get custody when parents’ get divorced. Laws differ from state to state as to what courts need to consider in deciding custody arrangements, but the general standard that is used today is the custody granted needs to be in the “child’s best interests.” Additionally, the elements courts consider in perceiving where these best interests are, are more potential to favor mothers, as a lot of marriages are established.

When parents can put resentment on the side lines, a lot of parents agree that their child’s best interests need to take precedence. However, when you are a divorcing father, you need to know some of the element’s courts generally consider in making this decision — and what steps you should take to show your parenting abilities. If you are attempting to attain sole-custody, joint-physical custody, and/or just the most plentiful visitation time with your child as you can, you are required to recognize what judges are going to examine when determining custody matters.

Is the Mother or the Father the Primary Care Giver?

One element in deciding custody is if the mother or father has been the child’s primary care giver. A lot of states use the terminology “primary care giver”; others allude to the parent that is better suited to fulfill the needs of the child, which is the most inclined to agree to parental obligations, or if the mother or father has been taking care of the child.

Irrespective of the terminology used, a primary care giver standard attempts to decide which of the parents’ has proved responsible for fulfilling most of the child’s day to day requirements, like getting them fed, playing, bathing, getting up, and the putting to bed, scheduling dentist’s appointments, making arrangements for child care, etc. In many families, these duties are truly shared among the parents. And certainly, many stay at home dads carry a lot of the responsibility for their children. Nevertheless, although more women are working full time now than they used to, women are a lot more likely to undertake the primary care giver responsibility.

It doesn’t matter how little or how much involvement you have had in managing these day to day tasks so far, you need to begin taking on as many of these day to day duties that make sense your spouse, your child, and for you. In the end, you are going to have to begin managing all of these activities following your divorce, at any rate when your child is with you. Additionally, the court is going to look at your record of carrying out these tasks when determining custody.

Parent-Child Bond

One other factor courts will use when making custody determinations is the relationship among the parent and child. The younger the child is, the more likely that the bond among the mother and child is going to be greater than the bond among the father and child. This isn’t a reflection on the father as much as it’s a observation on usual parenting roles when the children are younger. A mother is usually the one that feeds the child from birth to the toddler years and that devotedness enables for a different type of bond than a father may have with their child. Mothers are more inclined to take more time off of work or stay at home completely with their child than their fathers. Therefore, young children are inclined to look to their mothers first for basic day to day needs and support emotionally.

The more involvement a father has with his baby and young child, the closer the bond is going to be. Particularly if you wish for joint custody, you should learn how to offer the support and care the young child requires.

Relationship With the Other Parent

In a lot of states, the law assumes that children are going to be best served by having meaningful relationships with each of their parents. Another factor some courts contemplate in determining custody is consequently if one parent is more likely to nurture a strong relationship with the children and the other parent. A parent that has attempted to pollute the child’s relationship with the other parent or declined to allow contact with the other parent is not going to fare well in this instance unless there’s a valid reason (like child abuse or domestic abuse).

You can aid your custody and visitation chances by remaining civil and considerate towards your spouse, particularly in front of the children. Professionals state that children of divorce cope a lot better when their parents don’t use them as puppets in an ongoing skirmish, but instead enable the children to keep a positive, healthy relationship with each of their parents. It’s best for the children, and it is going to be best for you in court.

Getting Legal Help

A father that wants to obtain joint or primary custody of his child after a divorce action needs to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney. The attorney can clarify the factors the court are going to consider when determining custody and aid you trying to show that you would be the better (or a similarly good) suited custodial parent. Laws vary in each state, and judges conventions vary from one judge to the next. A knowledgeable local attorney is going to know how your court and your judge usually determines these matters, and help you produce the strongest feasible case for custody. Your lawyer can also assist you in negotiating a custody settlement with your spouse.


  1. Nolo. (2016, July 12). Divorce for men: Why do women get child custody more often? Retrieved June 02, 2021, from https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/for-men/divorce-for-men-why-women-get-child-custody-over-80-time

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorney in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


Jennifer Moshier Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Scottsdale Arizona
Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer


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