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Does the financial stability of my spouse affect child custody?

A question that I get asked very often with divorce and legal separation in Massachusetts is: “If I’m in a better financial position to take care of my child, and the other parent cannot provide for them, shouldn’t I get custody?”

That question is very complex because it depends on the severity of the financial issues and the history of the family.  All things being equal, if the decision is between placing a child with a homeless parent vs. a parent who has a house and is financial able to meet the child’s basic needs, then in most cases, the financially able parent would get more time with the child.  However, with our clients, we don’t live in a world where all other things are equal.

There might exist a reason why the other parent is homeless.  There could be domestic violence involved.  The more financial stable parent might never have been involved in the child’s life before this time. The other parent might not be homeless but simply have a lower standard of living but does not reach to the level of poverty.  In short, there always exists a lot of other factors that go into determining custody.

The very best solution is of course, if the parents can work it out between themselves and have some form of shared parenting.  But if the parents cannot agree, then you really need an attorney to come in and advise what the situation would present to a judge.  Give us a call if you are in a similar situation.