If you’re getting divorced and the court is determining your child custody rights, you have likely heard that they do this based on the child’s “best interests.” People often use this term when referring to the fact that the child comes first, even if what is best for them isn’t what you, as a parent, may want.
But what are the child’s best interests? What will the court consider when making this decision?
These factors may come into play in a custody case
Every case is unique and the court will determine what is best for the child. There are infinite potential factors they’ll have to weigh. But, while there’s no way to state exactly what that means in your case, some common examples of these factors include:
- The health of the parents
- The health and needs of the child
- The child’s wishes
- The family’s religion
- The child’s potential living situation
- A parent’s criminal history
- Evidence of abuse
- Evidence of drug use
- Where the child goes to school
- The community in which they live
- The relationship between the parents
- The support of an extended family
- The financial situation for the family
Ultimately, the goal is to give the child stability and to put them in the best possible position. The court does try to keep both parents involved to some degree. This may or may not be even. But they’ll err on the side of looking out for the child if there is ever a question.
Nothing is more important than your child custody rights. You must know about all of the legal steps you can take at this time to protect the parent-child relationship that you have. An attorney can help you learn more.