Custody of a Child Born Out of Wedlock In Iowa

Iowa Code section 600B.40 provides if custody of a child born out of wedlock is not awarded to the mother, the court shall consider factors specified in section 598.41(3) in making that determination, including but not limited to a parent's history of domestic abuse. We also consider the criteria delineated in In re Marriage of Winter, 223 N.W.2d 165, 166-67 (Iowa 1974). When an issue of custody arises from the competing claims of unwed parents, the critical issue is not which parent possess a greater right to the child; rather, the controlling consideration must be the interest of the child; such decision involves selecting as custodial parent the person who can minister more effectively to the long-range best interests of the child. Heyer v. Peterson, 307 N.W.2d 1, 7 (Iowa 1981).