How Important is Financial Stability in Custody Decisions?

parent with child

Divorce is already an intricate and emotional legal process, from dividing marital property to figuring out what to do next with your life. However, there’s an added concern for parents when determining a custody arrangement. Many parents worry about how their income could affect their chances of receiving custody of their children, especially if their earnings are lower than that of their spouse or they have no income. Nevertheless, aside from a parent’s income, other factors come into play when deciding custody. Please continue reading to learn how parents’ finances impact custody battles and how our proficient Bristol County Child Custody Lawyers can help you protect your parental rights.Β 

Are Finances the Deciding Factor in Custody Decisions?

When parents cannot reach an agreement regarding the custody of their children, a judge will decide after considering several factors. It’s crucial to understand that either parent’s income is typically not the sole factor affecting the court’s decision on how to award custody. Instead, courts focus on ensuring the child’s best interests are met. The best interests of a child standard require a judge to consider the safest, most stable, and most beneficial environment for the child to live in. In Massachusetts, the court must weigh the following factors when determining custody:

  • The child’s age
  • The living situation of each parent
  • The stability of each parent
  • The parent’s physical and mental health
  • The parent’s ability to provide for the child and meet their needs
  • Any special medical needs of the child
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Any history of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment
  • Any drug or alcohol abuse
  • Each parent’s involvement in the child’s life
  • Each party’s willingness to support the parental relationship
  • The child’s parental preference

As you can see, the court will consider several factors when determining an appropriate custody arrangement. However, their primary concern is safeguarding the child’s overall well-being. Therefore, while finances will play a role in the court’s decision, they are not necessarily the deciding factor.

How Can My Financial Stability Impact the Court’s Decision?

During a custody battle, the court will consider each parent’s financial stability. This is primarily because they want to ensure that each parent can provide financially for the child and meet their needs. For instance, if a parent is unemployed, resulting in them being homeless, there’s a slim chance the court will award them custody as they’re unable to provide shelter for their children. Nevertheless, if a parent has a lower income than their spouse, this doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot be granted custody. If the judge finds that the lower-income parent is better suited to care for the children, the court will often order the higher-income spouse to pay child support.

If you’re facing a custody battle, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted lawyer from The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C., who can help you protect your child’s best interests. Allow our firm to represent your interests today to maximize your chances of achieving the best possible outcome for your case.