The best interests of a child are the primary focus of any custody case. It is a term that encompasses a vast array of factors, which a judge will carefully consider before rendering a decision that most effectively supports a child’s best interests. If you are vying for custody of your children, you must familiarize yourself with this term’s meaning, so you can best embody it, giving yourself the best possible chance of obtaining a favorable arrangement.
Understanding the “Best Interests” of a Child
Custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the children. While some factors will have more weight than others, such as domestic violence or substance abuse, most are generally given equal weight in the decision-making process.
Below are some of the factors a judge will consider when rendering a child custody decision:
- The love and bonds that exist between each parent and the child
- The ability of each parent to give the child affection, love, and guidance
- The capacity of each parent to provide the child with medical care, food, and clothing
- The overall physical and mental health of each parent
- The moral fitness of each parent
- The child’s community, home, and school record
- The willingness of each parent to help the child maintain a relationship with one another
- If the child is old enough and mature enough, a judge may consider the child’s preference
- Evidence of substance abuse
- A pattern of domestic violence in the home
- The excessive use of discipline and emotional abuse
- Any other factors a judge deems relevant
A judge will look at each of these factors and take a holistic approach to render a decision that ultimately serves the best interests of a child.
Although you and your spouse both believe you know what is in the best interests of your children, a judge might see it differently, so familiarize yourself with this list, so you have a better understanding of what the court is looking for. You should also make sure you hire an attorney who is skilled in handling such matters to ensure your parental rights remain protected.
Contact a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Child Custody Attorney Today!
If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, the family law team at Myers Family Law will provide the skilled legal representation you need to secure a favorable result that serves the best interests of your children. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and will do what we can to help you smoothly navigate while minimizing the impact it may have on your children. With more than two decades of experience and a proven history of success on our side, you can rest easy when you choose to work with our law firm.
Get started on your child custody case today and contact our law office at (916) 634-0067 to set up a low-cost and confidential case review with a trusted member of our team.