Typically courts look at 4 things as they pertain to custody:
First and most important is fitness of parents. Courts typically do not award custody to parents who have a criminal record, domestic violence
, mental illness, neglect, drug use, alcohol abuse, or other factors that the court may deem as "unfit" and would be against the best wishes of the child.
Second is the character of the proposed home. That is, whether the property has enough space for proper child-rearing and if it is a safe neighborhood.
Third is the desire of the child, but that only comes into play when the child is older and is most likely in his teens. Even still the courts can award custody to the parent if they deem it for the better interest.
Finally, the courts tend to favor those that stay within the state, but they first look at fitness of the parents.
Dimitry Alexander Kaplun, Esq.
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