Central Whidbey Island, Washington
1 Front St NW
Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 678-4407

How Do Family Law Judges Determine Child Custody? October 10, 2019

Central Whidbey Island, Island
How Do Family Law Judges Determine Child Custody?, Central Whidbey Island, Washington

If you no longer want to maintain a romantic relationship with your children’s other parent, you’ll have to determine child custody during the subsequent separation or divorce proceedings. While it’s possible to devise an arrangement that you both deem satisfactory, it’s more likely that emotions will run high. As such, disputes are essentially inevitable, and going to court may be the only way to resolve them. Should you end up before a judge, the following factors will influence the outcome of the case. 

The Family Dynamic 

Depending on the family dynamic, certain statutes or precedents may determine the initial custody arrangement. For example, if the parents were never married, the mother will likely be awarded sole custody. The father must then go through the proper legal channels to establish visitation or some kind of joint arrangement. 

There are also scenarios in which neither parent will be awarded custody. If both parents are either unwilling or unable to provide a safe, healthy, and loving home for the children, the judge might deem it appropriate to award custody to a third party, like a grandparent, aunt, or uncle. 

The Parents’ Situations 

child custodyThe judge is going to review each parent’s mental and physical health to determine if they can handle all that raising children entails. Their education, earning capacity, and career demands will also influence custody, as will their ability to provide a stable living environment for the children. Other factors that can impact the proceedings include each parent's relationship with the children and their willingness to co-parent. 

The Children’s Best Interests 

At the end of the day, the most critical factor in custody cases is the children’s best interests. A family law judge’s primary goal is to protect the kids involved and ultimately do what’s necessary to ensure they grow up in a safe and loving home.


If you’re facing a child custody battle in Washington, turn to McPherson & McPherson Attorneys at Law in Coupeville. Focusing primarily on family law, this firm has been helping parents and children throughout Island County resolve even the most contentious disputes since 1997. To learn more about their family law services, visit their website. To request a consultation, call (360) 678-4407. 

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from McPherson & McPherson Attorneys At Law
3 Ways to Help Your Children Cope With Divorce, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
Divorce is not easy for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for your children. They may feel scared and confused, and the whole experience can strain your relationship with th...read more
Child Custody Relocation Laws in Washington State, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
If a custodial parent relocates with a child after a divorce or breakup, it can complicate a child custody situation and create potential legal disputes with the noncustodial parent....read more
Your Estate Planning FAQ Answered, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
Estate planning is one of the most important actions you can take, allowing you to protect your assets and loved ones if something happens to you. However, it’s also a complex legal ...read more
How Divorce Affects Retirement & Social Security Accounts, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
It's no secret that divorce can come with complex emotions and challenging legal issues to make sense of. But for most couples, financial concerns are one of the primary focuses of t...read more