Does the mother always receive custody of the child? No. In most cases, both the mother and father are awarded some form of legal and physical custody of a child. Of course, there must be a primary physical custodian. When deciding which parent will be awarded custody, the Court’s main concern is what is in the best interest of the child. In making this decision, the Court will utilized the Albright factors:
1. Age, health and gender of the child.
2. Parent having continuity of care prior to the separation.
3. Parent with best parenting skills and willingness and capacity to provide primary child care.
4. Employment of the parent and responsibilities of that employment.
5. Physical and mental health and age of the parent.
6. Emotional ties of parent to child.
7. Moral fitness of the parent.
8. Home, school and community record of the child.
9. Preference of the child at age sufficient to express a preference.
10. Stability of parent’s home environment and employment of each parent.
11. Relative financial situation of the parents.
12. Difference in religion of the parents.
13. Differences in personal values of the parents.
14. Differences in lifestyle of the parents.
15. Other factors relevant to the parent-child relationship.
These fifteen factors are not meant to be used in the manner of a scoring or points system.
This means that the Court may find other factors more important than others. The Chancellor has the ultimate discretion to consider the weight and credibility of all the evidence.