You have decided to move forward with a divorce and your spouse tells you that since he or she earned more money during the marriage, he or she will get custody of the children.  Is this correct?  What happens if you are awarded primary custody of your children and your former spouse remarries someone very wealthy making them more financially well off than you; will custody be transfer to your former spouse?

The family courts do not recognize the wealthier parent as necessarily the better parent.  When it comes to deciding issues of custody and parenting time, the courts must focus on the best interests of the children.  Factors such as which parent was the primary caregiver during the marriage, who takes the children to after school activities and doctor appointments,  who helps with homework and is more involved with the children’s education, are all things the courts consider in determining which parent better serves the needs of the children. These factors will be paramount over which parent can buy the most expensive gifts for the children.  Regarding home environment, the courts look to whether the parent can provide a clean, safe and stable home environment for the children.  It is not necessarily the bigger house that wins when the court is deciding custody. Remember when Britney Spears was ordered to relinquish custody of her two children to her ex-husband, former backup dancer, Kevin Federline.  The court felt that due to Spears’ irresponsible behavior, Federline was better able to serve the children’s needs.

Both parents will seldom be equal in their parenting skills or money available to them.  A court has to consider all relevant factors in determining the best interests of the children when matters of custody are at issue.  If you or someone you know has a custody issue, contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC today at 908-879-9499.  We are here to help.