Divorce cases in Massachusetts can be complex, especially if they involve children. If you and your former spouse cannot reach a mutual agreement regarding custody outside of a courtroom, a judge will decide who gets custody of the children. As a parent, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of how the court will handle custody arrangements. This will help you prepare for what you can anticipate during this complex legal process. A common concern parents have is whether the court will take each spouse’s income or financial stability into consideration as a factor when determining the physical or legal custody of their children. While financial stability is a key factor, the court will also consider other factors to decide based on the child’s best interests. If you are currently facing a custody matter, you need our skilled Bristol County Child Custody Lawyers, who can help you fight to protect your parental rights. Please continue reading to learn about the factors considered during a custody case in Massachusetts.
Can a parent’s financial stability influence a custody battle in Massachusetts?
In situations where one parent earns significantly less or has no income, it is natural for concerns to arise regarding how the court will take this financial disparity into account when determining custody. While parental income is a key consideration, the court will also consider other relevant factors to choose an arrangement that is the most suitable to serve the child’s best interests. This standard optimally protects a child’s welfare as it ensures their emotional, mental, and physical well-being is safeguarded. As such, the court will consider numerous favors to ultimately decide based on what is in the child’s best interest. The following include but are not limited to some of the factors the court will consider when making a custody decision:
- The age of the child
- Whether the child has special needs
- The child’s parental preference, if old enough
- The child’s emotional bond and relationship with each parent
- The mental state and physical condition of each parent
- The proximity of each parent’s home to the child’s school and one another
- Each parent’s earning capacity
- Each parent’s living arrangements
- Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs
- The relationship between the child’s parents (ability to communicate and cooperate as co-parents)
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse
- Any other relevant factors
As you can see, the court looks at more than just a parent’s financial stability when making a custody decision. However, if a parent’s income makes it impossible to provide a safe and stable environment for their child, the court likely will not grant custody as their mission is establishing an arrangement that serves the child’s best interests. Ultimately, a parent must be able to provide a safe living environment to be awarded custody.
If you are currently facing a custody battle, it is in your best interest to contact a Bristol County child custody lawyer from The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C., who can guide you through every step of this complex legal process and fight to protect your parental rights. Allow our firm to represent your interests today.