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In general, a court will take into account the best interest of the child when determining who gets custody. Courts take into account several factors, including the age and mental/physical health of the child, the lifestyle and habits of the parents, the love and emotional ties between child and parent, the mental/physical health of the parent, the child’s established living pattern, the child’s preference, the quality of available schools, and the ability of the parent to provide food, water, shelter. Most courts do not inherently favor the mother anymore, as they once did, but, if both are equally suitable, the mother will often get custody.

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