Court considerations for children’s living arrangements

baby playing in a field

A child’s world is flipped upside down when the parents get a divorce. That’s why it’s important to establish a sense of normalcy in the household, especially when it comes to living arrangements. Visitation decisions and child custody is often based on the parents’ living situations.

With the child’s and the parent’s individual living circumstances in mind, this is what the court will take into consideration:  

The number of children

If a parent has a particular number of children, a judge will make sure that there is enough space to accommodate all of the children during overnight visits, giving them an adequate amount of privacy. If you want all of your children to share one room or if you only have accommodations for them to sleep on a couch, the judge may hold it against you.

Parents’ circumstances

Each parent’s circumstance is different and there are many factors for a judge to consider. Where one parent is able to provide a larger living space for his children, another might not be able to. For example, a parent who pays child support might not be able to afford a home with a room for each child due to his restricted budget. As long as you are doing what you can to provide the best for your child, the judge will take your special situation into consideration.

The children’s ability to adapt

When it comes to housing, a child who is used to more space may have a difficult time adjusting to a small house or apartment. In this instance, a judge will determine if the child will be psychologically affected by this change in environment. Of course, the court’s main focus is the best interest of the child. As long as the child has time to spend with their parent, a judge will assume the child is happy. There’s no need to worry about competing with the other parent in terms of housing.

The children’s safety

A judge will look at the location of a parent’s home. Is it in a bad part of town? Is there a lot of crime ensuing in that particular location? Do any sex offenders live nearby? If there’s a potential chance of harm to come upon your child, a judge might limit overnight visits.

There is much to consider when it comes to living arrangements for a child after a divorce. Try your best to make your home a comfortable atmosphere for your children whenever they come over for visitation. As long as you spend time and bond with them, they should be able to adapt to their new normal.