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What Exactly Are the “Best Interests of the Children?”

Posted by Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation | Nov 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Divorce can be a difficult process to go through, and when children are involved, care should be taken to make sure everyone's needs are considered. When it comes to the custody of your children, the court will make an order based on what the “best interests of the children” are. Main factors which are used to determine “Best interest of the child' are welfare, health and education. While that sounds straightforward, it actually entails quite a few key components to ensure that your children are provided with every opportunity to succeed within their new family dynamic. While certain states differ slightly among their definition of what the best interest of the child can be, the factors listed below will be considered during every custody proceeding:

  • Safety issues – Above all else, the court will examine the living environments of both parents and will issue custody to the one who will provide the safest space. Not only will they take physical safety into consideration, but they will also examine emotional safety in terms of the mental health of the parent. Elements including adequate food and clothing, as well as medical attention, will also be addressed.
  • Bonds with other family members – If a child has a very close relationship with one parent over the other, courts in many states will take this under consideration. On the contrary, a conflict with one parent could put the child at a disadvantage and will be a contributing factor when the court issues custody. Bonds with siblings in the same household are also considered during custody rulings.
  • Parental involvement – Sometimes it's clear that one individual has essentially “checked out” of the parenting process and would not be a good fit for sole or even partial custody. In this case, the court would consider the best interest of the children to be living with the parent who desires involvement with their kids.
  • The wishes of the child – When the court deems the child is mature enough to make a thoughtful decision, they will often strongly consider which parent the child wants to live with. Whether it's for one of the reasons listed above, or something else like proximity to their current school, many states find the best interests of the child to fall in line with what their preference is.

If you are about to begin divorce proceedings and are unsure of what will happen to your children, please call Ahluwalia Law P.C. today. We understand that the future of your children is important and want to help you every step of the way through the custody process.

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