Parental separation or divorce represents a major turning point in their lives. It is critical to remember that, despite the logistical and emotional difficulties, the needs of the concerned children should always come first. In contested custody proceedings, a “best interest of the child” standard is applied in every state.
These steps are mainly set to safeguard a kid’s mental, emotional, and physical health and ensure that their parents can give them the best possible upbringing. No harm should be caused to the kid by the new family they intend to become a part of. To learn more about what is in the child’s best interests and to make judgments, courts and legal professionals consider a variety of variables. The phrase “best interests of the child” is not easily defined.
Here are the steps to take in order to decide what is in the child’s best interests:
- Take into account the child’s welfare, safety, and health. Judges will consider whether one or both parents can meet a child’s special requirements in terms of attending school, healthcare, mental health, and other issues.
- The child’s age and gender should be taken into consideration. While older children may have greater involvement in the decision, younger children may require more consistency and stability.
- Consider the child’s bond with each parent and how involved each parent was in the child’s life before the divorce.
- Consider the child’s preferences, but be aware that this is an emotional topic. Judges will consider the child’s age, maturity level, and motives.
- Consider how well-equipped each parent is to provide the child’s essential requirements, such as food, shelter, clothes, and medical attention.
- Think about the present situation. Judges frequently favor maintaining the status quo because most think adding change to the already difficult divorce transition is generally bad for children. Judges may consider the child’s ties to the existing school and community, among other considerations.
Safety and Health:
Protecting the child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being is crucial. This approach includes evaluating each parent’s capacity to provide a safe and stable environment free from any form of disrespect, desertion, or potential harm. The way of life of both parents matters a lot more than people think. If we think about it, when any single parent has a child, the existence of any prior incidents of domestic violence, drug use disorders, or any other factors that could jeopardize the child’s safety and well-being are all factors that the court may consider.
Developmental and emotional requirements:
The court considers the child’s emotional and developmental requirements while also considering the child’s age, temperament, and ability for change. The demands of the child’s schooling, extracurricular activities, health, and any special requirements or concerns that might need to be seen.