You may have heard the phrase “best interests of the child” spoken about in custody situations. What does this actually mean? Why is it so important?
The aim of using the best interests of a child is to ensure that a youngster grows up in a stable environment. When two divorcing spouses are at odds in court over custody, the best interests of the child concept is an objective, time-tested method of figuring out what will serve their child well in the long run.
Elements that are considered
There are some matters that are typically thought about by the court:
- In whose care will the child be safest? Is one parent home more than the other? Has one parent always been the primary caretaker?
- Which parent can be relied upon to furnish essentials such as medical care, shelter, sensible child rearing, proper nutrition, clothing and education?
- How could a child’s age factor in? Which parent can offer the intensive care that a very young child often requires? Which one can cope with a teenager going through a challenging adolescence?
- What will cause the least degree of upheaval to a child’s life? This criterion may make a court lean more favorably toward one parent than the other.
You want to demonstrate that you will be (and have always been) an affectionate and devoted parent who is truly concerned about your child’s well-being. This can be done in many ways – by sharing quality leisure time with your youngster, being involved in their school functions and making a sincere effort to cooperate with your ex regarding your child.
By deferring to the best interests of the child, a custody agreement can often be worked out. It should put the youngster’s needs first and place them in an atmosphere where they can thrive. If you have any concerns or objections, they can be presented by the professional representing you.