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Best Interest of the Child


The best interest of the child is a key legal standard used to determine child custody. During the divorce process, courts may consider many factors to determine what child custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. Typically, an arrangement for joint child custody and shared parenting is preferred by the court when it is in the best interest of the child.

If joint custody isn't possible, it's usually assumed reasonable visitation with the noncustodial parent is also in the best interest of the child.

Typical Factors to Determine the Best Interest of the Child

  • Child's age and health
  • Health of the parents
  • Stability and lifestyle of the parents
  • Child's adjustment to the community and school
  • Parents' ability to provide for the child's needs
  • Relationship the child has with each parent
  • Any disabilities of the child or parents
  • Child's preference, if he or she is an appropriate age to voice a preference

If the divorce court considers a child's preference, it must decide whether the child's preference is in his or her best interests.

Speak with a Divorce Attorney about Best Interest of a Child

The legal standard of the best interest of the child is interpreted different by state divorce courts. Connect you with a divorce lawyer in your area to answer child custody questions.

Call 877-349-1310 or fill out our divorce case review form to set up a preliminary consultation today. If your child custody case doesn't involve divorce, Total Divorce can still help you find an attorney near you who is familiar with family law.

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The above synopsis of the best interest of the child standard is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to provide legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.