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What Factors Does a Court Consider When Determining Child Custody?

is-there-a-time-limit-on-divorce-paperworkChild custody issues are clearly complex and the stakes are so high that you should have an excellent firm with solid legal advice to help you through.  That being said, here are some general things to note. Based on a number of key factors, the judge will make a decision as to who receives custody of their child in a divorce. These factors may not apply to every case, but they will all be considered each time.


The judge is looking for a home that’s safe for the child. If there has been a history of domestic abuse or if the child demonstrates that they don’t feel safe with one of the parents, then custody isn’t likely to be granted to that parent. Safety concerns also extend to financial security. The judge is more likely to grant custody of the child to whomever has a more financially stable home, and proof of steady income and a reliable work history will factor into that.

The judge may weigh certain factors more heavily than others, though and determining custody is not simply a process of checking off boxes for each parent then counting those up to see who has the most points.

Emotional Well-being

What tends to weigh most heavily with the judge is the promise of the child’s emotional well-being. Generally, the mother is seen as the nurturer and the one who can provide the most emotional security for the child. The judge will consider who the child is most attached to, who they have spent the most time with and who is most able to provide for their needs at the child’s stage of development.

If the child is of age to make an informed and intelligent decision, the judge may take into consideration any decision the child makes concerning their preferred parent.

How much time was spent with the child before separation or divorce will also be factored in, as this shows to some degree who cares more for the child or who the child is more attached to.

Other Factors

There are a number of other factors the judge may consider when making the decision for custody. The number of children and their age can make a difference as to who the child or children go with. How fit each parent is and their ability to care for the children needs to be considered as well.

In the end, the judge will always look toward the best interests of the children. That is the final and overriding consideration and it determines the importance of all the other factors.

How Do You Bail Someone Out of Jail?

need-a-bail-bondsmanIf your mother was to be arrested tomorrow, would you know the procedure to follow, to get her released from Jail as quickly as possible? Would you have $25,000 in cash available to pay the bail if that was the price set by the judge? I don’t imagine there would be many families with that sort of capital lying around for just such a situation, but on the other hand, the thought of leaving your mother in jail for even one night doesn’t bear thinking about. Unless you have a wealthy family member, who can just pay that sum of money, the best option for you may be to employ the services of as bail bonds company.

Irvine is a very different city than most, so I retrieved some information from this local Irvine Bail Bondsman to help me explain the process of what to do.

What Is A Bail Bonds Company And What Do They Do?

A bail bonds company is a business that assists people to cover the bond costs so that their friend and relative can be released from jail. In most cases, they provide a 24-hour service (people don’t only get arrested between 9 and 5), and they have an in-depth knowledge of the judicial system, which means that they can generally shorten the length of time your loved one spends in prison.

To continue with the example of a mother who has been set bail, the procedure would work something like this:

  1. You approach your bail bonds company of choice and explain the situation. In general, it is probably best to use a local company, as they will know the intricacies of each local jail, who to contact or speak to. They will also know how quickly you can expect your relative or friend to be released. In some cases, that can be up to one hour, in others, it could take 24 hours.
  2. They will discuss all the details of the case with you and normally their fee will be somewhere in the region of 10 to 20 percent of the bail amount that has been set. For this example, we will assume that it is 10 percent and therefore the fee is $2000.
  3. Once this fee has been paid, and be warned the fee is non-refundable, then the bail bonds company will contact the jail and arrange to pay the $20,000 bond.
  4. Your friend or relative will then be released from prison, on the understanding that they will turn up as promised on the date and time of their next court case.
  5. If they do not turn up, then in the first instance the bail bonds company will have to forfeit the $20,000 in total.
  6. In Irvine under United States law, in this situation the bail bonds company are allowed to employ the services of a bounty hunter to track your friend or relative down and return them to court.
  7. Once the person has returned to trial, they bail bonds company will get their bond money refunded, but may then decide to sue your friend for the additional cost of the bounty hunter.

A bail bond company can and generally will dig your family out of a big hole. It is always a good idea to turn up to court as promised when you are released on bail, as otherwise, you are only making a bad situation worse.