A family law judge’s primary responsibility is to make choices that they deem to be in your child’s best interest. There are various factors that the court takes into account when deciding custody, including the child’s age and gender.

One thing that may surprise you, however, is the fact that your living arrangements may shape the court’s decision-making, as well. 

Why do living arrangements matter when determining custody?

There are certain instances in which the combination of a child’s gender and age and a parent’s living arrangements may collectively impact custody. 

A judge will likely expect a child to have a private place to get dressed, whether it’s their own bedroom or bathroom. A judge is likely to expect a parent to afford older kids an even higher level of privacy or autonomy. So, while a judge may be okay with a younger child sharing a room with a sibling, they may expect a teen to have their own space.

Judges are also likely to want to know more about a parent’s financial circumstances, including their ability to afford to care for another child in their home, when making decisions about visitation and custody. They will want to know that parents can adequately care for their child’s basic needs while they’re in their care. They’ll also want to learn more about how many other kids they provide for financially, including whether they live in the home and have their own space.

The judge will likely inquire about your child’s ability to adjust to different living arrangements, including traveling between homes, living with stepsiblings or spending time with a parent’s new love interest. The safety of a parent’s house and the neighborhood is also likely to way on the court’s decision to award custody. A judge may deny a parent’s request for visitation or custody if they deem the situation to put the child’s safety or health at risk. 

How can you improve your custody chances?

No parent wants to have to spend time away from their child unnecessarily. Who you live with, the size or location of your Broomfield residence and your ability to provide your child with privacy and provide for their basic needs is critical. There are many benefits to consulting with a child custody attorney. They can aid you in identifying weaknesses in your Colorado case and help you strengthen your position.