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Checklist: Who Gets Custody?

When parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the court is left with a tough decision. The court will consider many factors when deciding to whom to award custody. In many cases, a consideration of the various factors results in an award of custody to the parent who has been the child's primary caretaker. The following checklist can help you and your attorney establish who has been the primary caretaker in your family.

Who was usually or most often responsible for performing the following childcare responsibilities?

Task Mother Father Shared

Feeding infant

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Feeding younger children

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Changing diapers

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Holding/cuddling

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Preparing meals

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Packing lunches

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Grocery shopping

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Changing diapers

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Dressing

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Doing laundry

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Buying clothing

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Maintaining clothing

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Bathing

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Washing hair

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Styling hair

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Brushing teeth (help with or enforce)

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Putting to bed

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Reading stories, books

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Helping with homework

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Taking to/picking up from school

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Taking to/picking up from extracurricular activities

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Conferencing with teachers

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Attending school open houses

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School volunteering

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Choosing schools

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Helping choose classes

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Attending PTA/PTO meetings

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Taking to/picking up from religious services

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Taking to/picking up from religious classes

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Taking to/picking up from sports activities

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Coaching sports teams

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Taking to/picking up from lessons

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Taking to/picking up from play dates

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Arranging play dates

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Hosting play dates

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Taking to/picking up from birthday parties

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Hosting birthday parties

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Shopping for gifts for friends

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Shopping for gifts for child

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Shopping for school supplies

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Shopping for toiletries

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Taking to doctor

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Taking to dentist

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Taking to orthodontist

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Making doctor/dentist appointments

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Taking care of sick child

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Hiring babysitters

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Picking up/dropping off babysitter

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Arranging daycare

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Taking to/picking up from daycare

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Planning holidays

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Planning vacations

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Teaching values

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Teaching manners

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Monitoring chores

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Teaching sex education

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Taking to park

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Playing with indoors

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Playing with outdoors

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Cleaning home

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Maintaining home

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Other (please list):

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For more information on this topic, return to FindLaw's Who Gets Custody? section, or visit the Child Custody section for other related topics.

Get a Free Case Review

Child custody disputes can be among the most contentious and complicated kinds of legal situations a person can face. The assistance of an experienced attorney can clarify your rights and help you navigate the family court's many pitfalls. It doesn't cost anything to have a free initial evaluation with a qualified lawyer to discuss your the merits of your custody claim and learn how they can help.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified child custody attorney to make sure
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