Factors that contribute to a child’s best interests.

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Factors that contribute to a child’s best interests.

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2022 | Child Custody

It is often said that the child’s best interests are supposed to come first when their parents get divorced. The court may be in charge of creating a custody schedule for the child, giving the parents specific times when they live with the child or the ability to make decisions on their behalf. While creating this custody arrangement, the child’s best interests are supposed to come first.

But what are the child’s best interests? How does the court define this, and what does that tell you about what they’re looking for during the case?

A few common examples

All cases are unique, but below are a few examples of different factors that the court may consider:

  • The parents’ roles as the primary caregiver or the primary breadwinner
  • The living situation that both parents offer and if it will be safe
  • The health of all involved, including the child and both of his or her parents
  • Any issues with mental health, along with physical health
  • Any history of dangerous behaviors or criminal activity
  • The child’s gender or the child’s age
  • The child’s own wishes, in cases where he or she is old enough to express them to the court

On this last point, it’s worth noting that children still don’t get to pick where they live. The court simply takes their wishes into account, along with other factors. That doesn’t mean a child can choose never to see a parent again or that they only want to live with one person. The court still makes the final decision. 

Understanding what the court is looking for can help you put yourself in the best possible position as you work through the custody arrangement. Be sure you know what legal steps you need to take to protect your relationship with your child or children. 

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