Will a judge decide child custody based on income?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2022 | Blog, Child Custody |

If you’re in a child custody battle with your ex, you’ve likely found that the process is not only time-consuming but expensive as well the longer the case goes on. If you’re a New Jersey resident, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to income and child custody.

How income affects custody arrangements

Once a child custody case goes to court, the parents’ income is not the only factor the judge will use to make a custody ruling. The courts will consider the best interests of the child based on several factors. The mental and emotional stability of both parents is taken into account along with whether either parent made childcare arrangements or was the primary caretaker for the child during the marriage. The courts will consider whether there has been a history of neglect or abuse in the home or if either parent has struggled with drug or alcohol abuse. Family law courts also take the children’s wishes into account if the child is old enough to choose which parent they want to live with.

The finances of the parents

When it comes to income and determining child custody, the court will consider each parent’s ability to provide financial stability for the child. A parent who is unemployed or underemployed has a lower chance of being awarded custody.

However, if a parent does not have any income because they were the stay-at-home parent in the marriage, the court will consider that parent’s ability to earn an income in the future when awarding custody. The judge will also consider whether the primary caretaker is receiving spousal or child support from the other parent.

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