Courts generally ask a different question. What parent can provide a more stable environment for the children? Some factors such as the parent’s income, physical and mental health are also considered. Courts don’t terminate child custody based on gender. In other words, the presumption that the children should always be with the mother is no longer there. Yes, there are more custodial moms than custodial dads but that’s because they meet the better parent standard.

Primary caregiver

This is the most important factor to consider. The parent able to meet the child’s needs and willing to accept most parental responsibilities should be the one who gets primary custody of the kids. There are many legal terms used but the most important thing is to make the children happy and meet their most important needs such as childcare, healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, etc. If you are planning a divorce and you are not currently engaged in your child’s life, you may not have a chance at getting child custody.

Parent-child relationship

This is another important factor the court will consider. Younger children tend to have a stronger bond with the mother since mom is generally the one that spends the most time with the kids. Also, mothers take more time off work and make other sacrifices some dads may not be willing to make. The more involved a parent can be with his kids, the stronger the bond will be.


Although children generally benefit more from having a stable relationship with both parents, there are times when this may not be possible. It is very common for divorcees to have heated arguments through and after a divorce. Courts favor the parent that encourages a good relationship with both parents. In other words, if you don’t want your child to communicate with your ex, you may not be picked as the custodial parent. You can advance your child custody and visitation case by staying courteous and respectful towards your former spouse. Remain positive and encourage a positive environment to raise your kids.

Seek help

If you have recently filed for divorce and you are seeking the primary custody of your children, consult an experienced family law attorney in your area. Family law attorneys understand the factors the judge will consider when awarding child custody in Salt Lake City. We can help you build a solid case by gathering important evidence that proves you meet the better parent standard.

If you wish to obtain joint custody, we are here for you as well. An amicable divorce is always the best approach for such conflicting issues. Family law is very complex to navigate on your own. Contact us today and schedule your initial case assessment with Salt Lake City child custody attorney Christopher M. Ault.