Every child wants their parents to stay perpetually married. But when divorce happens, children often become sad and confused. Of course, parents hate to see the negative effects this decision has on their children. The question then is what is the best interest of my child moving forward in this difficult situation? Parents want courts to base any of their decisions with this in mind.
So how does a court determine what is in the child’s best interest?
Some Considerations by the Court
Any information that would indicate what decision making or parenting arrangement is best for your children must be considered by the court. But if information is presented to the court in any of the following categories, the court is required to issue findings about them and consider them in its decision. Although a number of different concerns are factored in their decision, here are some of the most common:
- The wishes of the parents
- The wishes of the children (if they are old enough to have meaningful input)
- The interaction and relationship between the children and each parent, their siblings, and any other individual with whom they have significant ties
- The children’s adjustment to home, school, and their community
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent
- Whether a parent utilized coercion or duress to obtain an agreement regarding custody
- Whether a parent has attended or failed to attend the state’s required parenting class
- Whether a parent has been convicted for falsely reporting child abuse
- Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse
An agreement for joint legal custody will demonstrate your commitment to your children’s best interests. Keep an open mind and open channels of communication. This will go a long way in having a successful plan that puts your children first.
Contact us at Hallier Lawrence for more information about divorce and child custody issues.