The well-being of children is often at the mercy of the choices made by adults. Because of this, the family law courts ensure that a child's best interests are top priority when constructing a child custody arrangement. Which factors can be considered during the child custody process when determining what is in a child's best interest?
Because every child is different, what will be in the best interests of one child, may not be relevant to another. There is a long list of potential items that could be heavily influential when a court makes a child custody determination, including the wishes of the child, the health and wellness of the parents, any special needs a child might have, and religious or spiritual concerns. Beyond that, other factors such as relationships with other family members and parental discipline tactics could have a large impact on a determination of what furthers the best interests of the child.
As a parent, you may or may not be aware of the topics that will come up regarding the best interests of your child. You may have concerns of your own about their best interests and appropriately addressed a child custody proceeding. Acting to ensure a court is aware of all of the issues at hand can be critical, especially since the child's other parent may cast that child's best interests in a different light.
Hopefully parents can get together to communicate and agree on what topics are most important to their child's best interests. However, this isn't always a possibility. Therefore, the court will look at both sides' arguments to determine what kind of outcome furthers the child's best interests. This is why it is usually beneficial to have a skilled legal advocate by one's side to help aggressively present his or her position on these matters.