Using the best interests of the child standard in child custody

What is in the best interests of the child is the standard that is used to make child custody decisions. The best interests of the child standard is the guiding standard when decisions impacting children, such as the custody of a child, are considered.

In the most basics terms, the best interests of the child standard is a legal test that evaluates what will have the most positive impact on the child's physical, psychological and emotional safety, as well as the child's overall well-being and security. Different factors are considered to determine what would be best for the child such as what would be the best child custody arrangement for the child and the child's well-being.

Factors that are evaluated when determining what is in the child's best interest include the emotional health and well-being of the child; the child's relationship with parents, guardians and other important people in their lives; the history of care the child has received; the child's views unless it is deemed inappropriate to consider them; and the impact of any family violence on the child's best interests and child custody arrangement.

What is in the child's best interests is the family law standard used to make important decisions for the child such as child custody determinations. Because of this, it is helpful for divorcing parents to understand this standard and the role that it plays so they can know what the family law court will focus on and maintain that focus for themselves as well. The divorce process can be a challenging time, and child custody an emotional concern, but focusing on what is in the best interests of the child can help ensure a child custody arrangement that is best for the child.

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