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Legal Information: Delaware


Laws current as of March 26, 2024

How will a judge make a decision about custody?

In awarding custody of a child, the judge will look at many factors to decide what is in the best interest of the child. These factors include:

  • what custody and living arrangements the child’s parent(s) want;
  • what custody and living arrangements the child wants;
  • the interaction and relationship the child has with his or her parents, grandparents, siblings, the husband or wife of either parent, any other residents of the household or persons who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  • the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
  • the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
  • past and present compliance by both parents with their rights and responsibilities to support and care to their child;
  • evidence of domestic violence; and
  • the criminal history of either parent and anyone they live with, including whether the criminal history contains pleas of guilty or no contest or a conviction of a criminal offense.1

If the judge thinks it is necessary, the order can include a request that the police assist a parent in getting possession of a child. To do so, the police officer can enter private property to get the child.2

1 13 Del. C. § 722
2 13 Del. C. § 727(e)