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What does a child’s “best interests” mean?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Family Law

If you are going through a divorce and you have children, child custody issues will be considered at this time. You may also be going through a child custody situation if you and the child’s other parent aren’t married but can agree on a schedule on your own. 

During child custody cases, a key factor a judge will consider is the best interests of the child. Do you know what this means? 

Why do a child’s best interests matter?

When determining child custody, you will often hear the term “best interests” used. This means that the judge is basing decisions related to custody of your child or children to ensure their long-term security, happiness, proper emotional development and general mental health. 

In many cases, the judge finds a child should have equal time with both parents. However, in others, one parent may have a history of abuse, anger issues or other problems that could impact the child negatively. Spending time with that parent may not be the best option in this situation. 

Do the child’s wishes come into play in child custody decisions?

The judge may consider the child’s wishes when deciding on custody cases. However, this is only done when children are of a certain age. Also, the child’s preference is just one factor in this decision and not a deciding factor. 

Protecting your rights to custody

To ensure you get the best outcome for your child custody case possible, you should understand what the court or judge will consider when making these decisions. It’s also important to show how you prioritize your child and spending time with them to ensure their well-being. While these situations can be stressful, legal resources are available to help you with the child custody process.