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How do courts determine the best interests of the child? 

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Family Law

If you’re going through a divorce, the court is going to make its custody decision based on the best interests of your child. Your opinion does count, as does the opinion of your ex, but neither are more important than what the court thinks is best for your child’s future.

It’s important to understand this perspective if you’re going into a custody hearing. What types of things will the court be considering and looking at to decide what is best for your child? How do they make this decision that you will then have to abide by?

Common factors that are considered

Every case is unique, so the court is generally just going to try to get a sense of the family dynamics and what would make things feel as stable and secure as possible. Some of the factors they may consider include:

  • The child’s age
  • The main caretaker
  • The child’s gender
  • The parents’ physical health
  • The parents’ mental health
  • The child’s health and any special needs
  • Each parent’s living situation
  • Each parent’s financial situation
  • The child’s own preferences
  • Any criminal records
  • Any evidence of abuse
  • Any religious considerations
  • The impact of cultural considerations
  • Where the child will live and how close they will be to their school, friends or neighbors
  • The inclusion of any extended family members

Once again, each case is unique, so these are not all of the factors that the court is looking at. But you can see how wide-ranging this is and how they really have to consider a lot to decide how they’re going to divide up custody. Be sure that you fully understand your legal rights at this time.