Child custody, not to be confused with Parental Responsibility, and more appropriately referred to as child time sharing is determined by the court based primarily upon the best interest of the child. By statute the court is required to consider the following items:
Each parents capacity to encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
The anticipated division of parental responsibilities with consideration of the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
Each parents capacity to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
The geographic viability of any particular time sharing plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling.
The moral fitness of the parents.
The mental and physical health of the parents.
The home, school, and community record of the child.
The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
Each parent’s knowledge of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child's friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.
Each parent’s ability and/or likeliness to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
Each parent’s ability and/or likeliness to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.
Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought.
Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
Each parent’s respective responsibilities for the child and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties.
Each parent’s historical capacity and disposition to participate and be involved in the child's school and extracurricular activities.
Each parent’s historical capacity and disposition to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
Each parent’s historical capacity and disposition to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.
The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child's developmental needs. Any other factor that is relevant to the development of a time sharing plan.