Good afternoon. Yes, you can contest and object to it. When you do, you want to show it is in the best interest of your 12 year old, to remain with you and to simply allow the father additional visitation, if he desires. When there is a dispute about custody, the court sometimes refers the parents to internal court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding custody and related issues; however, if the parents are unable to agree on custody, the court will decide for them. In every case, the court must decide custody based on a determination of the best interests of the child. State law provides guidance to the courts by listing factors that the court should consider. These include such things as the wishes of the parents, the child's wishes, how the child interacts with each parent and any other children in the family, the health of each person involved, the child's adjustment to home, school and community, which parent primarily has provided care for the child in the past and which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent.
The court also must consider whether there has been domestic violence in the family, drug or alcohol use by a parent or other circumstances that may endanger the child's physical, mental, emotional or moral health. The court will presume that an award of custody to a parent who committed an act of domestic violence is contrary to the child's best interests.
This is everything you also want to use and address, so the Judge keeps the child with you. Moreover, if you think he has a motive ( such a not having to pay child support then), address it as well and talk about how much time he currently spend with the child.
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