When a family court judge makes a decision regarding Custody of a minor child, the court is obligated to make its determination based on the Best Interests of a Child. To do this, the court uses a standard called, The Best Interest Factors. The Best Interest Factors are used by family court judges when making decisions regarding custody, parenting time, and legal decision-making.
Best Interests Factors
- The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.
- The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to legal decision-making.
- If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to the custodian.
- The interaction and interrelationships of the child with the child’s parent or parents.
- The child’s siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
- The child’s adjustment to home, school and community.
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent.
- The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making.
- Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
- Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.