Legal Information: Idaho


September 2, 2022

What factors will a judge consider when deciding custody?

When deciding custody, the judge will consider all relevant factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests, such as:

  • the wishes of the parents;
  • the wishes of the child as to which parent s/he wants to live with;
  • the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his/her parents and siblings;
  • the child’s adjustment to his/her home, school, and community;
  • the character and circumstances of all parties;
  • the need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and
  • whether domestic violence was committed by either parent, even if it was not in the presence of the child.1

If a parent has a disability, the parent has the right to provide evidence and information that shows how the use of adaptive equipment or supportive services will allow the parent to carry out the responsibilities of parenting the child. The law is clear, though, that the judge cannot discriminate based on the basis of a disability. If the judge believes the disability is relevant to the custody decision, the judge has to clearly state in writing what effect, if any, the disability has on the best interests of the child.2 The law specifically clarifies that one’s sexual preference or sexual orientation is not considered an impairment or disability.3

1 I.C. § 32-717(1)
2 I.C. §§ 32-717(2), (5); 32-1005(3)
3 I.C. § 32-1005(2)(b)

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