What Does “The Best Interest of the Child” Really Mean?
When it comes to Child Custody, a question that gets asked a lot is “What does ‘Best Interest of the Child’ mean?” A lot of parents don’t understand what this exactly entails.
“Best Interest of the Child” is a term that came about at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a rights principle for children that says that any action that is taken by anyone, whether it is a public or private entity, courts of law, administrative bodies, legislative bodies – essentially anybody that does anything that pertains to a child – they must remember that the most important thing is to take the child’s best interest at heart. That is the first and primary thing that must be considered.
When it comes to child custody in a family law case, the judges will evaluate and balance all the elements necessary to make a decision in a specific case for a specific child. The judges might look at things such as:
- The child’s age/If the child is old enough to make a decision
- The child’s wishes
- The physical stability of the parent
- The mental stability of the parent
- What parent is historically been the one that has primarily taken care of the child
- What parent is better able to address a child’s needs (i.e. taking the child to school, from school, taking the child to doctor’s appointments, taking the child to extracurricular activities.)
- The relationship that the child might have with the parents. (i.e. Is the child closer to one parent over the other?)
- Any sort of abuse (i.e. Any physical or verbal abuse in the household towards that child.)
There are many factors that the court will consider before making a decision to make sure that whatever decision the court will make is going to be in the best interest of the child.
Child custody is a very serious decision. If you would like to discuss your specific situation, give our office a call at (702) -998-1188, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule your initial consultation online.