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How do courts determine the best interests of a child?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2021 | Divorce |

When determining custody, you may wonder about the court means when they state that any arrangement should be in the best interests of the child.

This broad concept can refer to numerous factors, such as closeness to siblings or safety issues, but each one must benefit the child or improve his or her quality of life.

Physical safety

According to the Children’s Bureau, a stable environment is one of the biggest factors that judges examine. The state of your house and the medical care you provide can make a difference in the custody arrangement.  The kind of people you invite over and how well-dressed and well-fed your child also can influence this decision.

Not only does this ensure the court that you are able to provide for your child, but it also ensures your child can get to school on time and live a balanced daily life. A home with drug abuse or neglect can leave your child feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Unique considerations

Special needs or religious considerations can often greatly impact a child’s daily life. Sometimes, a child may need unique kinds of care, including connections to tribes or cultures outside his or her home.

Other family members

Siblings often play a large role in a person’s life. Being close to brothers or sisters can influence your child’s upbringing in a positive way. Grandparents or other extended family members can also provide needed care and interaction.

Courts may look at how close he or she is to other members of the family while determining custody. The best interests of a child can cover a variety of circumstances.