Will Income Affect My Child Custody Case?
If you are going through a divorce that involves minor children, you are probably wondering if a judge will award you child custody. Child custody decisions are based on a number of different factors, and a judge will weigh them all very carefully. You may wonder if your income is one of the factors a judge will consider, particularly if you were the lower-earning spouse in the marriage. Like most legal matters, whether or not your income will affect your chances of being awarded child custody depends on the facts of your case.
The Best Interests of the Child
A judge will only consider what is in the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. They will not consider what you, your spouse, or anyone else in your family wants. They will use a number of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child and make their decision solely on that. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The stability of each parent
- Any arrangements for childcare that are currently in place
- Which spouse was the primary caretaker
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- Where the child’s siblings live
- Educational opportunities
Is Income a Consideration?
Most people know that income will become a factor when child support and spousal support orders are issued. It is less clear though, whether income plays a role in child custody hearings. Sometimes, it might. For example, if a spouse was unemployed and was currently homeless, it is unlikely that a judge would award them child custody.
Still, income will not always play a role in child custody hearings. For example, if you stayed home to take care of the children and the household, you likely would not have a high income. The judge, however, would likely not use this fact against you and in fact, it could help because you were the primary caregiver during the marriage. Instead, a judge will use the spousal and child support payments, as well as your ability and willingness to return to the workforce as factors when making a decision on child custody.
You do not necessarily need to have a large house or a big paycheck in order for a judge to award you child custody. The most important thing you can do is to show that you are a supportive, involved, and stable parent and that it is in the child’s best interests to continue living with you.
Our Experienced Family Lawyer in Philadelphia Can Advise on Your Case
When going through divorce and child custody hearings, you will have a lot of questions. At the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane, our skilled Philadelphia family lawyer can provide you with all the answers you need, and give you the best chance of obtaining a fair settlement. Call us today at 215-918-9453 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.