There may be a long list of varying factors that a court will take into account in a custody battle, however, there is an order to this list. These are the top five factors that are taken into consideration when deciding which parent should have custody of the child. In a courtroom, custody lawyers will present their cases and at the end of it, the judge will make a fair ruling after having considered the following, as well as other, factors:

1. The Child’s Preference

The outcome of a child’s custody does rely, in part, on what the wishes of the child are. This is an important factor as any children’s rights attorney will tell you. This might be a little dicey to handle as there is no specific law on how this factor will affect the decision, however, a judge will take the child’s views and wants into account.

2. The Quality of the Relationships with Each Parent

Another consideration is how the child gets along with each parent. In this instance, a child may feel more comfortable with one parent than the other which could end up affecting the judge’s decision. Aside from the inner workings of the parent-child relationships, the court will also perform background checks.

3. The Physical and Mental Health of Each Parent

This is a case of whether or not a parent has the faculties and capabilities to look after the child. For instance, it may not reflect well should one of the parents present anger management issues. Physical health comes in when considering the needs of the child and the ability to fulfil them.

4. The Wishes of the Parents

When it comes to this factor, the parents of the child may request different forms of custody. This could be a case of both wanting joint custody or one parent trying to get sole custody.

5. Financial Stability

This consideration has to do with the work obligations of each parent and whether or not they will be able to take care of or at least contribute to the well-being and upbringing of the child. Financial obligations go further than living arrangements and quality of life. It also has to do with providing for a child’s psychological and developmental needs.

These have been the most common factors that those who practise family law consider in custody cases. There are certainly other factors and conditions that affect the outcome, but we have compiled the ones most relevant when it comes to child custody. For any further questions take a look at our other informative posts or contact us directly.

Are you looking for a child custody attorney in Durban? We have a team of specialised family law attorneys who are equipped to help you with your needs. Contact Durban Law Offices on 031 836 0307 or email us at so that one of our lawyers may assist you and/or provide you with advice.