If you are familiar with child custody court, you have likely heard the term “best interests of the child“, but do you know what that means and what it involves?
Continue reading to find out:
- Love, affection, and other emotional ties that exist between the parties involved and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue educating and raising the child in the child’s religion or creed.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, and medical care or other remedial care.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of continuing it.
- As a family unit, the permanence of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
- The moral fitness of the parties involved.
- The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
- The child’s home, school, and community record.
- The reasonable preference of the child if the judge considers the child to be old enough to express a preference.
- The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent. A judge may not negatively consider any reasonable action taken by a parent to protect a child or that parent from sexual assault or domestic violence by the child’s other parent.
- Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
- Any other factor the judge considers relevant such as:
- If the child has special needs
- If two or more children will be separated
- How far apart the parents live