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What factors can lead a father to get custody?

The age-old belief that children are automatically placed in the physical custody of the mother during a divorce may be fading out. There may be factors involved in the situation that could lead a judge presiding over the case to award physical custody to the father. Judges will look at several factors when determining who is best capable of taking care of the child in a divorce.

First, the father must prove that he is the biological father of the child by performing a paternity test. This can even be shown if the father signed the child’s birth certificate. The judge will ask about the child’s relationship with both the father and the mother. Is the father the primary caretaker of the child? Has the mother failed to participate in raising the child? Would a joint-custody situation be beneficial for the child or would the child do better in sole-custody of one parent?

In some instances, the child’s mother may be unable to care for the child. Mothers who are incarcerated, have a mental issue, are abusive or have a drug abuse problem that can severely inhibit the ability to interact with children. If the mother is a risk to the child, the father may also be given custody as well.

Statistics show that fathers who are full-time caretakers of their children are more likely to receive full physical custody. The mothers may even be ordered to pay child support to the father rather than the other way around.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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