Child custody is determined by the court based on the “best interests” of the child. Parenting time (in the past and occasionally some courts refer to this as physical custody; however, the statutes do not really discuss physical custody) refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Legal custody refers to decision-making, i.e. health decisions, school, religion, etc. Best interests of the child means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court:
- The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.