Custody and The Best Interest Factors

How the Court Determines Child Custody Issues

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How do the courts make decisions when children are involved? Best Interests of a Child.

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.

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How the Courts Determine Issues Regarding Children

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