Does Filing for Child Custody First Make any Difference?

Custodial rights can be the most sensitive and contested matters in the area of family law. There are many factors a court to consider when creating child custody arrangements, but who files for child custody first is not one of them. Although child custody guidelines vary by jurisdiction, the model used most prevalently determines what arrangement would be in the best interest of the child.

In deciding what kind of custody plan would best benefit the child involved, the judge will consider:

  • The child’s past and present interaction with the parents;
  • The adjustment the child would have to undergo;
  • How long the child has remained in a stable environment;
  • The mental and physical health of all parties;
  • Parental capacity to give guidance and care for the child

This is not a definitive list and statutory guidelines in each state give a full description of all of the factors a judge can evaluate in creating a child custody schedule. The most important thing to remember if you are involved in a custody dispute is that the judge will always make decisions that will result in the best possible outcome for the child. Issues that do not impact the child’s well-being will not be considered, like which parent filed for custody first.

Child custody matters are challenging in many ways, but are particularly difficult emotionally. An experienced family law attorney will be able to assist you in creating the best plan to achieve a custody arrangement that ultimately creates the best life for your child. If you are in the middle of a custody dispute, contact a family law attorney who will be on your side to help ease the stress of a custody dispute.

This post was written by David Hurvitz. Follow David on Google+.