When two parents get divorced, it is often said that the court is going to look after the children’s best interests. This is supposed to be their focus when they are dividing up custody or parenting time between the two adults.
While it does make sense that the court would want to ensure that the children had a stable living situation and that their needs were met, parents sometimes find themselves wondering what these “best interests” are. After all, if you’re seeking custody of your children, it can only help your case to understand what it is that the court is going to look for.
There are many different factors
The truth is that every situation is unique and the court simply needs to figure out what that situation looks like for your family. There are a lot of different factors that need to be considered, which may carry different levels of weight, depending on your situation. Here are a few examples:
- The children’s age
- The children’s health
- The parents’ health
- Any health hazards in the home
- Existing relationships with the child
- Who is the main breadwinner
- Who is the main caretaker
- Where the children go to school and where the children’s friends live
- What desires the children may have expressed to the court
- The presence of extended family members
- The gender of the children
- Any evidence of abuse or criminal activity
As you can see, the court is going to look at a complex array of information to determine what the child’s life is like at this time and what they need to do to keep that life as stable as they can. As you go through this process, knowing how important your relationship with your child is, you must know what legal steps to take.