Child custody can be one of the most difficult issues that parents face, especially if both parents want sole custody or one parent has primary custody but has become unable to properly care for the children. However, parents seeking custody should be aware that the parent’s living accommodations are often a significant factor in determining whether or not the court will grant the parent custody.
For example, if the parent seeking custody is of the opposite gender of the child, the court may not grant custody if the parent is unable to offer adequate privacy. For example, the court may require the parent to have a separate bedroom and bathroom. Further, if there are multiple children, the court may require parents to provide separate bedrooms for each child, especially if the children are older.
Further, the court will take the child’s ability to adjust into consideration. For example, some children may be used to having a larger space and may have more trouble adjusting to a small space, especially if they have to share a bedroom or other living space. Additionally, if the neighborhood the home is located is not considered to be safe, a judge could potentially limit the number of overnight visits if the parent does not have primary custody.
While many parents can work together when it comes to determining child custody, there are many parents who are unable to come to an agreement. This may be especially true if one parent wants sole custody, but the other parent may believe that the other parent is not capable of properly caring for the children. A family law attorney may help a parent understand what the children’s best interests are and may assist with creating a visitation and custody schedule that fits the children’s needs.