A family abuse protective order is a civil court order that keeps the abuser away from the victim and stops his/her violent behavior. The three types of protective orders can be granted in family abuse cases. These are

  • Emergency Protective Order
  • Preliminary Protective Orders
  • Permanent Protective Orders

The impact of restraining orders is huge and penalties are there for violating protective orders.

Family abuse restraining order have positive effects on the petitioner who has filed the case. These orders ensure his/her safety and safety of their children. Restraining order binds the abuser to reach you or harm you. It orders the respondent to not to verbally or physically threaten the petitioner. It stops respondent from following or harassing them. The order also stops the respondent to interfere in the lives of petitioner’s children or their other family members or their colleagues. It restricts respondent not to contact even by telephone or any other mean.

The restraining order prohibits the respondent from keeping a firearm. The police use the restraining order to remove the respondent from the home to prevent any further harm to the petitioner. The respondent has to return the petitioner’s possessions and belongings. Respondent has to pay the other party’s fees for hiring the attorney. The abuser is made to attend ‘programs for the treatment of batterers’.

Restraining orders have a huge impact on child custody in future. For the time being the judge will decide where and with whom the children will live if both parties have children together. If the battered person has paid money in striving for medical care, missing job work, shelter rent, and certain bills then the respondent has to pay for that.

The judge can order both parties to restrict from traveling out of the city or a state or country or a certain area with the children. The judge will decide when, where and how the parent will spend time with the children. Supervision required or not when other party meeting his/her children.

Restraining orders have far impacts and consequences on the respondent. These orders impact the clearance of his/her security checks, future job opportunities, and muddles his/her background check.

If the abuser violates the restraining orders then you have two options. The immediate option is to call the police and let him/her arrested. The police can be fined and even put behind bars for the violation of civil court order. Even if the violation is small but it is contempt of court if the respondent violates the court orders meaningfully. The other option is you file a new petition in the court as violation petition. The judge can hold him/her in civil contempt. Crime is a crime whether it is small or big. Violating court order is also a crime. You must report it.

You must discuss your case and impacts of restraining orders with your lawyer who must be experienced in domestic violence cases.

If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney, call us at 888-437-7747.

Top Ten Reasons to Hire a Maryland Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer

Not all affairs related to the law require the use of an attorney. Fighting a speeding ticket and going to small claims in the courts are two such examples. Though, in numerous other situations such as a sexual assault charge, you might need to take help of a defense lawyer. Even though first class lawful representation can be very pricey, it can facilitate to get you out of a number of unlucky situations which accompany a sexual assault charge, such as an awful divorce, mislaid job, or DUI violation counting broken agreements, misplaced claims, or worse, jail time.

While each person’s legal condition is diverse, there are certain situations where you actually should appoint a defense lawyer to help you out. Following are the top ten reasons why you should hire a defense lawyer to fight the case for you.

1.    The law is complicated

If you are not a lawyer you perhaps have no drama like one in this instance. Lawyers, on the other hand face this on a day to day basis. Understanding the law can become a handful. Therefore, taking help of someone who understands it completely is one of the best decisions you will take.

2.    Not having a lawyer may actually cost you more

What is at stake? A criminal case may establish whether or not you spend time behind bars, while a civil case could harm you economically. In addition, several civil attorneys do not get a dime if they win your case, which is why they might sometimes slack off. Moreover, you might be able to maintain the legal fees as an applicant in a civil case, so hiring a lawyer can in fact save or make you money.

3.    Lawyers know how to challenge evidence

You may not even know that a key piece of proof against you was inappropriately obtained or that the evidence of an eyewitness can contradict a previous declaration. And if the crime las appropriately handled the crime lab report presented in the court? Your lawyer will defiantly find all of this out for you.

4.    Attorneys understand how to file court documents and handle other legal procedures properly

If you are not an attorney, you may fight with the deadlines along with the entire procedure for appropriately filling out and filing certain legal papers. One delayed or mistake in filing could disrupt your entire case, hold up the given legal process or worse even have the case thrown out overall.

5.    Because you do not know any expert witnesses or private detectives

Attorneys depend on an extensive network of professionals to assist their clients’ cases. Majority of non-attorneys do not individually identify the types of professionals who can aid with detection or confront evidence or witness by the contrasting party.

6.    You are not sure how to plead or of what a ‘pleading’ is

Pleading guilty is not the only option, even if there is proof pointing directly at you. An attorney who understands the rule will be finest positioned to clarify your options and can help out you evade potentially harsh penalties even before a criminal trial begins.

7.    Because it is probably better to avoid problems in the first place rather than try to fix them once they arise

You might have heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Hiring a lawyer in various instances is going to facilitate you to shun possible legal battles down the road. Do you comprehend the fine print of that contract you are signing? A lawyer definitely will.

8.    A good lawyer can strike up a good settlement offer or plea bargain, when necessary

A qualified lawyer almost certainly has seen cases related to yours or at least has enough knowledge to make an intended guess about how it might resolve at trial. Occasionally a settlement is the finest choice, while other times it makes more logic to see your case through to trial. A lawyer also can assist and negotiate a reasonable agreement with the opposing party.

9.   The other party has legal representation

Nonattorneys are usually at a drawback when squaring off alongside opposing counsel or doing business with a new party that has legal counsel. As explained above, the law is complex and an attorney on behalf of your adversary will take benefit of this injustice.

10.  Lawyers often provide a free initial consultation

Numerous attorneys will meet you free of charge during a face to face discussion, there is actually no harm in discussing with one. Not only will this free session give you the clear idea of the kind of case you have, it will aid you to decide if you really need to hire the lawyer or not.


Rape, sexual offenses, and sexual assaults have been criminalized as per the laws of Maryland. According to the Maryland Rape and Sexual Assault Laws, rape is categorized into two levels of offenses or degrees. In contrast, sexual offenses have four degrees of any type of offensive sexual activity. Depending on the factors, the criminal penalties are adverse in Maryland. These are also based on aggravating factors that are sometimes done using violence. It is also reported that other factors include, the age and gender of the victim and by displaying weapons to a victim.

There are various forms of sexual offenses that are prohibited according to Maryland Rape and Sexual Assault Laws. These include:

The various forms of sexual assault that are prohibited in Maryland include:

  • Rape
    • First Degree: This degree involves an individual being engaged in a sexual intercourse with another individual without their explicit consent. This could be done using physical violence, displaying weapons, death threats, kidnapping, and more.
    • Second Degree: If an individual engages in vaginal intercourse:
      • Without the consent of the victim
      • With physically or mentally ill person
      • Victim is 14 years old or below or four years younger than defendant
  • Sexual Offense
    • First Degree: This involves individual being engaged in a sexual act including, anal or oral sex. In addition to this, if any part or object of a person’s body is penetrated, comes under this type. This could be done using physical violence, displaying weapons, death threats, kidnapping, and more.
    • Second Degree: If an individual is engaged in sexual activity with another person by:
      • Without the consent or with force
      • With physically or mentally ill person
      • Victim is 14 years old or below or four years younger than defendant
    • Third Degree: This degree includes the following:
      • An individual engaged in sexual contact with other. The contact may be intentional touching of genitals, private parts, and anal of either defendant or victim for abuse of either person or sexual gratification. This could be done in following scenarios:
        • Without consent or by force using weapon or injuring the victim, death threats to victim, kidnapping, or with someone’s help
        • With physically or mentally ill person
        • Victim is 14 years old or below or four years younger than defendant
        • Being engaged in a sexual act including anal, oral, or vaginal intercourse when a defendant is 21 years old or older while the victim is 15 years old or below. This is also known as statutory rape.
    • Fourth Degree: It includes the following:
      • Without the consent of other
      • Victim is 14 years old or below or four years younger than defendant

Engaged in a sexual act, contact, or intercourse with a person who is not only under 18 but is enrolled in a school where the person was in a position of authority. This could be teacher, principal, counselor, a coach who is at least 21 years old.

Federal Sex Crimes Explained

A number of various crimes fall into the sexual crimes category, however, they usually involve illegal and/or forced sexual conduct against someone else. Each state has its own laws, which prohibit numerous different types of sexual crimes, for instance, rape and sexual assault. Each state has also set its very own time limit or the “statute of limitations” using which, the victims affected by the sex crime can file a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime.

People who have been convicted of any kind of sex crime, irrespective of the severity will be considered as “sex offenders” by the state they reside in. once convicted of the crime, the defendants face a lifetime of their name being added to both the federal and the state sex offender registry.

Federal Sex Crimes Explained

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure in numerous states across America, including Maryland, is a crime, which takes place when someone purposefully displays their genitals publically, causing those around them to be alarmed and/or offended. Indecent exposure is oftentimes committed to provide sexual gratification to the offender or is committed in order to induce a sexual rejoinder.

Exposing one’s sexual parts is to publically display your bare sexual body parts. Displaying of a bare female breast as per the law is not considered to be Indecent exposure (else breastfeeding mothers may also face indecent exposure charges). Likewise, flashing your underwear in public, no matter how skimpy or scanty is not regarded to be indecent exposure.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault normally refers to all those crimes in which the perpetrator forces the victim to touch them in a sexual manner, which is highly offensive and unwanted. These sexual crimes can vary from sexual groping and/or assault and battery, to attempted rape. All the states across America strictly prohibit sexual assault and regard it is a serious crime, however, the exact definition of all the various crimes that fall within the classification of sexual assault vary from state to state. The sexual assault laws have some mutual basic elements, nevertheless, the structures, wording as well as the scope of sexual assault crimes differ significantly.


Rape as a crime is generally defined as nonconsensual sexual intercourse, which has been committed using physical force, threats of causing injury, or other coercion methods. The common law has defined rape to be the unlawful intercourse committed by a man forcefully or against her will, against a woman who is not lawfully his wife. Some states, including Maryland, have refined the statutory definition of rape to make sure that gender, marriage, force etc. are not relevant anymore. One of the most crucial elements for rape to take place is the lack of spoken consent from the victim. This lack of consent can also include the inability of the victim to protest against the intercourse because of being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Under this new definition, rape can also occur if the perpetrator and the victim have had a pre-existing relationship, or even if the perpetrator is the victim’s lawfully married spouse.

Why Reckless Driving Virginia Lawyer Recommendations are to be followed

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is a serious offense in the U.S., and it is implemented when the driver of an automotive vehicle shows a disregard for all or some of the traffic rules; and misjudges the driving procedures, and ends up causing accidents or damages to life or property.

Virginia Reckless Driving Statute

As per the Virginia reckless driving statute, under the Regulation of Traffic Code:

An individual is categorized as driving recklessly, when he or she drives a vehicle, on the highways;

  1. at a speed higher than twenty miles per hour of the speeding limit allowed
  2. is faster than 80 miles per hour, irrespective of the speeding limit allowed

How is Reckless Driving Convict Punished for Reckless Driving in Virginia

Virginia follows strict traffic laws and the punishment for these laws are considered to be very strict too, as the Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868 states, any individual – found guilty of reckless driving in the court of law would be convicted of Class-1 demeanor. Class 1 demeanor is the same conviction that is usually awarded to those individuals who are found guilty of carrying drugs especially marijuana, or those convicted with simple assaults.

The penalties that may accompany the verdict may include monetary fines that may go up to $2500. Furthermore, an individual may also be sentenced jail term of at least a year in prison, suspension of the driving license for up to 6 months or longer. Six demerit points are also added to the individual’s license, along with a probability of being sent to a driving improvement center, and depending on the criminal history of the individual, even severe punishments could be sentenced to the individual charged with reckless driving in the State of Virginia.

Mitigation Factors involved in Reckless Driving Cases

The Reckless driving convictions can be soften up too. However, only if you are eligible for it. The eligibility of an easy sentence may include;

  • A good driving record may be able to sway the judge into letting you go with just a warning.
  • The speedometer may take a wrong reading, and it could be used as an evidence to evade a reckless driving ticket.
  • Radar calibration issues could also be challenged in the court of law to your help.
  • A legitimate emergency can help you get away with the reckless driving case.

Why Hire a Reckless Driving Lawyer

Although there are several other factors that might help you in evading a conviction, it is best that you hire a lawyer for the reckless driving case. The lawyer would tell you what you could do to potentially evade the conviction and let go by a warning or a small penalty fee.

A lawyer would study your case and identify the ways to improve your situation while suggesting active steps that would help him gain more chances to evade the trial and sentencing with possible jail time and heavy fines.

Furthermore, the recommendations from a lawyer would help you in keeping out of future troubles to and would not allow the ticket of reckless driving burden you for the rest of your future. A lawyer in your defense is expert to safeguard your interests and help you get away with minimum damage.

How Can A Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer Help You

Perpetrators in sex crime cases often face extremely harsh, as well as, severe charges and punishments, irrespective of the case’s individual conditions. Apart from the chance of an extended prison sentence, an acquitted sex offender is also required to register as a sex offender. If you are facing any such situation, you might wonder how a Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer can defend your legal rights countering to accusations of a sex offense.

A Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer might often start by insisting that only she/he speaks to the police, and definitely not the client, and/or defendant. A Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer will then advise the defendant on the best possible approach, which might be to continue to not to talk to the police and to cooperate so as to avoid the charges being filed against him/her.

Defendants must not hope that the police is going to lose interest in their case and just drop the sex crime charges filed against them. Getting these charges dropped is likely going to require the assistance of an experienced Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer.

We take special pride in our record of resolving all the sex crime cases, which have come our way successfully and peacefully prior to the actual charges even being filed, and there was no requirement of going to the trial as well. This is particularly valued in sex crime cases where the public sentiment is very negative. If your case does go to trial, your Virginia Sex Crimes Lawyer will be able to handle everything from the examination phase to your trial itself, and sometimes even to appeals when required.

When choosing a defense sex crime lawyer, it is very important to find an attorney who is highly experienced in these types of cases, preferably hugely experienced. Sex crimes are very different than all the various other criminal cases. Any inexperienced lawyer cannot successfully handle these cases. A lawyer who lacks the required experience in handling sex crime cases is improbable to come up with a defense as belligerently as is required, given the severe public feeling against these charges.

Sex crime defenses should be very specialized, which depends on the various different charges in question. For example, when we talk about defending an accused against charges of online solicitation concerning a minor for inappropriate sexual conduct, a practiced sex crime defense lawyer like the ones working for us, will focus on several mitigating factors.

Amongst them are reasons that the “minor” was, in fact, one of the undercover police officers who unlawfully tricked the defendant to commit a crime while pretending to be underage. Or, if and when, an actual minor is involved online, the defense, which could be made is that the minor never did indicate that he/she was underage, therefore the adult was oblivious to the fact that he was talking to someone, not of age or that the defendant never really intended to get involved in sexual behavior in the very first place.

Therefore, hiring a professional lawyer to represent you in sexual crime cases is very important as it can save you from a lot of trouble in the future.

Steps to do after getting a Reckless Driving Ticket in Virginia

If you already got a reckless driving ticket in Virginia then you have landed on the right page. This article will guide you on how to outdo and evade your reckless driving charges in Virginia. According to section 46.2-852 of Virginia law, reckless driving is an act of driving any sort of vehicle on highway in a reckless manner, which could endanger any living being or any property. Even though reckless driving should be dealt with traffic laws, however, it is considered as a criminal offense due to its overall impact on the society.

Understanding Reckless Driving

Reckless driving charges are very strict in Virginia therefore it is important for a person to understand every minor cause and detail of reckless driving ticket. Virginia is very strict with its traffic laws that if a traffic police officer caught you in an extreme reckless driving case he may even charge you for a criminal offense and you might end up in jail. Here are few extreme cases where an officer can arrest you:

  1. If your vehicle’s break are faulty or not adjusted properly
  2. If you are driving a vehicle which is overloaded and block the view
  3. If you are caught driving on one lane road next to another vehicle.
  4. When you miss to give proper indications.
  5. Missing out the speed limits and driving too fast
  6. Speeding even after knowing the current traffic conditions
  7. When you are Endangering a person’s life due to your reckless driving
  8. When you are Endangering any living thing due to your reckless driving
  9. When you are Endangering anyone’s personal or public property due to your reckless driving
  10. Racing on roads constructed for public is  automatically considered a criminal offense
  11. Burning wheels or depicting any stunts on the road is also prohibited
  12. Driving on railroad crossing
  13. Driving on highway intersection

Unfortunately, if you already got a reckless driving ticket you need to follow the following steps to mitigate its penalties.

Take a look at you ticket carefully: Keen attention

The most important step to mitigate the reckless driving charges is to pay keen attention at the time the police officer is handing you the ticket. It is important to understand that reckless driving is different from speeding and so are their penalties. Thus it important to devour keen attention and note down every detail right when the police officer is giving you the ticket or soon after he gave you the ticket. This set of information would help you and your reckless driving attorney in fighting your case.

Get the help of an experienced reckless driving lawyer

One of the most important step of fighting any criminal defense is to take the help of professional and experienced attorney. The Attorney would help you in beating the reckless driving ticket throughout your case.

Getting a transcript of your driving history

Your driving history record is one of the most important document which could help while fighting your case in Virginia court. The driver can get this transcript from Virginia DMV. However according to Virginia law, if you reside in any other state and you commit a reckless driving offense in Virginia you will still be charged for Reckless driving.

Enroll yourself in a driving course before the trial

Another way to mitigate or reduce reckless driving in Virginia charges is that you can enroll yourself in a driving course and complete that course before your trial. This would help your attorney in negotiating with the judges.


Custody battle: The do’s & don’ts

All that matters to you right now is winning your child’s custody case. You are ready to do whatever it takes. For that, you need to be fully aware of what you have to do and what you should not do.

How do you prepare yourself? Below are some do’s and don’ts that will help you win your child custody case.

Do try to show an inclination to work with your ex: As hard and impossible as it may seem to accept right now, just remember that your ex is as much of a part of your child’s life as you are. Try to show some tendency to work and cooperate with your ex so the court can see that you care about your child’s best interests.

Do ask for a child custody evaluation: An evaluator’s evaluation can be tremendously useful and can work in your favor, especially if your ex is trying to portray a bad picture of you.

Do present yourself to the court in the best manner: The one thing you need to keep in mind is that the court tends to believe what they see. You need to do whatever you can to make yourself seem the loving, caring and capable parent you are. Show up on time, if not before, for court. Make sure that your attire is clean and proper. Maintain decorum in the courtroom and before the judge.

Do research on your state’s child custody laws beforehand: Make sure to do all your research on family laws and child custody laws applicable to your state so that you are fully aware and prepared. Read all about Virginia Child Custody Laws to be well prepared.

Do make sure all your documentation is complete: Make sure to check that all of your documents are with you and complete the day before the hearing.

Do take the assistance of a qualified child custody lawyer: True, lawyers can be heavy on your pockets and bank accounts, but they can make all the difference from winning to losing your case and vice versa. If you don’t have the resources, get a free consultation or look up free legal clinics located in your state.

Don’t talk negatively about your ex in front of your children:  Don’t try to talk bad about your ex to your kids. Unfortunately, most of the times kids tend to be the scapegoat as all frustration is taken out on them. Go to a friend and let all your anger and feelings out, not on your kids.

Don’t reject whatever the court asks of you: Even if you don’t agree, take it as your chance to show just how much you are ready to do for your kids. Be it counseling or parenting classes, don’t refuse the court.

Don’t make up stories:  Remember that I you come up with false, negative stories to prove your ex’s shortcomings, it can always backfire and stab you in the back. You will most likely lose whatever chance you have to win back your kids.


What NOT To Do When You Are In a Custody Battle

A child custody case can be one of the most stressful situation that a parent can go through. Knowing that such a battle involves extreme emotions and convictions, it is vital for a parent to keep in mind that their words, actions and behavior both during as well as outside of court settings can affect their child’s wellbeing and their ongoing relationship with them.

With all your heart and efforts, you are committed to winning a custody battle. However, the core issue in this matter is that the child is not a piece of furniture to be earned or lost. Parents at this crucial time act irrationally and end up showing negative and harsh behaviors during the court’s proceedings, acting out like that in front of a judge causes a huge loss for such parent in the long run.

Keeping all this in mind, we have compiled a list of six things drawn from our decades of experience with family law cases that you must never attempt if you truly want to achieve a positive outcome in a custody battle:

1.     Alienate the Kids

It would be hard for you to speak pleasantly to the other person during the court’s hearing, especially when they are talking poorly about you. When both the parents put allegations on each other, children who are already facing an emotional trauma would not be able to handle such situation. Therefore it is ideal to shut your mouth when your ex-spouse is accusing you and narrating situations that you guys were facing. Rather focus on being the ideal parent you could ever be for your child.

2.     Shouting

Though your emotions would be very high at this point in your life, shouting will be perceived as aggression in the court. This can give the other parent a chance to claim that you are unable to control your temper thus they fear for themselves and their children. Consequently, always talk politely to your children and even your ex if your conversation is being recorded, that could be used as evidence to prove you as a good or bad parent.

3.     Fight or Get Physical

Although your temper may be at a boiling point, you should never even think to harm another person, particularly the other parent physically. Even when the other parent gets physical with you by hitting or shoving, leave the situation and call the police to file a report. However, contact a legal practitioner before taking any legal action in such a situation.

4.     Stop Paying Child Support

Failure to pay child support obligations can be seen as the contempt of court’s orders thus can result in jail time, making it very hard for you to see your children if you are behind bars. Consequently, do whatever you can to make sure that the support obligations are being met timely.

5.     Damage someone’s Property

Although you might wish to damage or harm your ex’s property so that you can vent out your anger. Resist the urge and control your emotions, as if you attempt such an act you would be perceived as a dangerous person and eventually considered as an immoral person who won’t be able to provide worthy upbringing of the child.

6.     Deny the Other Parent to Contact

When you deny the other parent to have access to your children, whether physically or via telephonic conversation, you will be interfering with the child-parent relationship. And this can affect your case as you are neither valuing the other parent nor caring about your children’s need to have both a mother and a father.


Guidelines on Filing for a Child Custody Case

Most states, which also includes Virginia, provide a method for resolving child custody. Such a method resolves, analyzes and assumes the father as well as the mother as obligatory. The orders weigh each of such calculated orders by a certain percentage of the total time spent with the parents and then counterbalances the difference. The parent who owns the great amount of time spent becomes obligatory. This cross credit way of the formula increases the schedule by the amount of 1.5 when it comes to calculating each parent’s order.

No doubt, it can get confusing, as this is Virginia’s version of the cross-credit formula, which is unique as it relies on a lower multiplier and then for a lower threshold as most states do. When it comes to the rights of having the custody of a child, unless and until there is no court order, both the parents; including the father and the mother have equal privileges and rights to obtain the custody of the child, even if they are married or not. However, the law ensures consistent and regular contact with the child with both of his or her parents. It also doesn’t assume that the combine custody is favored by both the parents.

Ordering Child Custody

In order to get things started, you need to begin by filing a petition for the child custody in the court. It is important that you fill out the information about the child’s whereabouts in the last six months. It is necessary to fill in the correct information at all times, as there are chances that the cases can likely be then transferred to the proper country or state, depending upon the information provided. You should take care while filling out the ‘home county’ or the ‘home state’.

When you have filed the petition for the custody in the court, with or without an attorney or filing fee, you can then ask for support. The time period in which your petition will be heard is within several weeks, all the concerned parties will contest the custody case in the court. It is also necessary for both the parents to attend a four-hour duration parenting education class. At the first hearing, the judge can order a temporary custody, along with a visitation order. The judge also has the right to enter an order, concerning the parenting class. Just in case, if you refuse to attend the parenting child, then you may most likely lose the custody of the child. The court can also set another hearing date in the coming months.

The judge also has the authority to appoint an attorney for the child, to represent him. The judge may even contact and order the Department of Social Service to do some home check and report on the conditions and home surroundings of both the parents. The conditions are well judged in this scenario. A special advocate can also be involved to do some more background investigation.

Deciding Upon Who Gets the Custody

There are a number of conditions and factors, which are thoroughly looked and investigated upon to determine the best interests of the child. The most important ones are:

  • The age of the child, the mental condition and the relationship with each parent
  • The age of both the parents and their mental stability
  • Determining the best interests and needs of the child
  • The willingness expressed by each parent to actively support contact with the other parent
  • The willingness expressed by each parent to keep a close relationship with their child
  • The willingness expressed by each parent to actively cooperate to resolve disputes, in the interest of the child
  • Investigating any history or circumstance regarding abuse done by any of the parents.

These are certain aspects that are considered extremely important for the child custody. These aspects can easily determine the custody of the child, based on one or more factors.