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Will your financial situation affect child custody decisions

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Child Custody

Divorcing couples in Arkansas may be concerned about how their income could affect the outcome of a child custody battle. When one parent makes much less than the other or has no source of income, it is easy to be anxious about the situation. Luckily, there are a few factors that play into deciding child custody.

Child custody factors to consider

In a perfect world, parents can agree to parenting time that works best for the children and themselves. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and judges have to make the ultimate custody decision. Some things the judge will take into consideration include:

  • Who was the primary caretaker during the marriage
  • The child’s preference and where their siblings live
  • Evidence of abuse or neglect
  • Mental and physical health of each parent
  • Ability to provide food and housing for the child

Child custody and income

Though your income does not directly affect your chances for child custody, you do need to show that you can support them. If you were a stay-at-home parent with no income during the marriage, the judge will take your future ability to work into consideration.

Child custody and support

Your income will factor into whether a judge awards child support or spousal support to either parent. If both parents have comparable income and joint custody is awarded, support may not be awarded to either parent.

On the other hand, if one parent has primary custody and has no current income or makes significantly less than the parent with visitation, both child support and spousal support may be awarded. In the end, income does play a role in determining child custody, but it isn’t the sole deciding factor.