On to factor (h), "the home, school, and community record of the child". The only one of the three I have experienced personally so far is concerning my daughters' schooling.
A little over three years ago, I managed to wrangle a change in my scheduled hours of employment, and I immediately motioned for a "change of parenting time", to spend more time with my daughters. This was AFTER my oldest was held back, and repeated kindergarten.
The first hearing, in front of the court referee, resulted in HER REPRIMANDING ME FOR NOT BEING INVOVLED, AND MY DAUGHTER BEING HELD BACK. Now, keep in mind that it was THEIR ORDER that I NOT have enough time with my children to be involved and active enough with them to be able to effectively help with such things as homework and their education in general. This FEMALE referee is absolutely convinced that fathers are worthless, except as a source of money, and the mom alone should have complete and full control, regardless of the consequences.
Naturally I objected to her decision, and got in front of a real judge, who again, actually listened to the TRUTH and FACTS of the situation. I was "granted" the additional time with my daughters.
Please read that again....I was GRANTED the time with my daughters. A fit, able, willing, college-educated and employed father, and I was GIVEN the time by a judge who doesn't know me, my kids, has never met them, and likely never will.
Exactly when did judges become God??
My youngest is likewise having severe difficulties this year. A repeat of what ensued three years ago is on the horizon.
Concerning factor (i), "the reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference", I have no personal experience as of yet. From what I understand on this one, the child must be at least twelve, and when interviewed by the judge NO ONE else is allowed in chambers. I also have learned that the judge will NOT state the child's actual preference, leaving the door wide open for the family law court system to once again twist these factors whenever and however they please to reach the predetermined conclusion; a non-custodial father who is a visitor in the life of his child and a paycheck only, and a custodial mom who is handed full control of the children, regardless of the consequences.
A Father Of Two.