Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
Attorney at Law
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Determining a child’s best interests: Key factors

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Child Custody |

How does the court decide where a child should live or who should make decisions for that child if the parents can’t agree on their own? During a divorce, some parents find themselves unable to agree on physical or legal custody. But a solution is still necessary, so the court has to make a ruling.

To do this, the court will consider what would be in the child’s best interests. For example, parents sometimes say that they each want sole custody, but courts generally assume that shared custody is better for children unless there is a significant reason to keep them away from one parent, such as a history of domestic violence or abuse. The court will consider a multitude of factors to determine what would actually be in the child’s best interests.

Examples that may be considered

Every case has its own unique factors, but here are a few that may be considered:

  • The parents’ age 
  • The child’s age 
  • The mental and physical health of all involved 
  • The parents’ living situations and income 
  • Any special needs that the child has 
  • The child’s own preferences 
  • Any history of abuse or criminal activity 
  • Any history of drug use 
  • The roles of extended family members 
  • Social and cultural considerations 
  • Where the child goes to school and what activities or groups they are involved with

In the end, the court will weigh all of these factors and attempt to find a solution that creates stability and security for the child. If you’re a parent who is going through this process, the outcome is very important, so you need to know about all of your legal options.



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