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When the parents can not agree on custody then the court must make a determination. That determination is generally the award of sole/full custody to one parent over the other parent.
The factors considered by the court are multiple and various. The judge can consider all those things that might impinge on the development of the child's physical, mental, emotional, moral, and spiritual faculties. In considering the child's developmental needs, the judge would take a child's age into account. The judge can consider the child's preference, but the judge is never required to do so. The judge can consider each parent's caretaking capacities and the home environment that each parent could provide to the child. The judge can consider the time available to each parent to be with the child, as the judge may wish to maximize the child's time with a parent as opposed to a babysitter or daycare center. The judge can consider the child's bonding with each parent and with other siblings, if there are any. But remember that the weight the judge gives to any of these factors is completely within the judge's prerogative.