There are many factors that go into a judge or jury determining custody. What it all boils down to is what is in the best interests of the child. Courts will tend to look at many factors when deciding who will win custody. The court will consider the following factors :
- Best interests of the child;
- Past parental involvement/participation in the child's life;
- How much the parents are able to co-parent regarding visitation and access to the child;
- The stability of a household;
- Consistency in the child's life (Courts try to avoid disrupting the child's current routine as much as possible);
- Abuse, abandonment, or criminal backgrounds of the parties; and
- The child's wishes (12 years old and older).
Here is a flowchart that will provide you with a guide to whether or not you will be successful in a custody battle. Of course this chart is not perfect and each case will be different. However, this chart should give you a general idea as to the future outcome of your custody case. Just answer the questions to see where you stand.