It is no secret that divorce can take a heavy toll on children. If you share a child with your soon-to-be ex, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is the kid’s living arrangements going forward. Ideally, family courts encourage parents to make this decision on their own.
However, if the parents cannot work out a custody and living arrangement, then the court may have to step in. In making custody and visitation arrangements, the court will always take into account the child’s best interests.
While there is no standard definition for the “best interests of the child,” the term basically refers to the decisions that best serve the child’s overall well-being (physical, emotional and psychological). Some of the factors the court will take into account when determining the best interests of the child include
Evidence of parenting ability
The court will often look into each parent’s genuine ability to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs when ruling on custody and visitation. These include the parents’ ability to provide basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care and parental guidance.
The child’s safety
The court takes the child’s safety extremely seriously when determining custody. Each parent’s mental and physical health also plays important roles in determining custody.
A parent who poses a threat to the child’s safety may be awarded supervised custody. And in extreme circumstances, they may lose their custody or visitation rights altogether.
Every family situation is unique, so the court may consider these and other factors when determining your custody case. No matter the circumstances, however, knowing your legal rights and obligations can help you boost the odds of getting a favorable outcome for your custody case.