Physical custody may be awarded solely to one parent or jointly to both parents. Legal custody, generally interpreted to include decision-making rights and the responsibilities and authority relating to the health, education and welfare of a child, may be award to one parent or jointly to both parents.
The “polestar” consideration in all custody decisions is based on the best interest of the child. The Supreme Court set out certain issues which the Chancellor must consider in the case of Albright v. Albright in 1983. The issues include the age of the child; health, and sex of the child; a determination of the parent that has had the continuity of care prior to the separation; which has the best parenting skills and which has the willingness and capacity to provide primary child care; the employment of the parent and responsibilities of that employment; physical and mental health and age of the parents; emotional ties of parent and child; moral fitness of parents; the home, school and community record of the child; stability of home environment and employment of each parent, and other factors relevant to the parent-child relationship. Child of a certain age may express a preference for custody and that is another factor which the Court will consider in making a custody determination.
This is not intended as legal advise as each case is considered on its own merits and there are changes in the law from time to time.