In making a child custody determination, the judge will look to the custodial arrangement that will best promote the needs and welfare of the child, i.e. what is in the child’s best interests. In making that determination, the court shall consider all relevant factors including acts of domestic violence between the parties, the safety of the child, and the safety of either party from domestic violence by the other party and shall make findings accordingly. As between the mother and father, no presumption shall apply as to who will better promote the interest and welfare of the child and joint custody shall be considered upon the request of either parent.
Since the judge may consider all relevant factors that would best promote the needs and welfare of the child, this gives the judge broad discretion in making such a determination. It is critical to have your evidence presented in such a way that will assist the judge in deciding the custodial arrangement that will best promote the needs and welfare of your child.