Determining best interests and child custody

For many parents, the thought of getting divorced creates concerns about the well-being of their children. Couples that can set aside differences to put their children first may reach a more sustainable and satisfactory custody agreement.

The courts put a lot of emphasis on best interests. Assessing a variety of factors in a child’s life helps legal experts to determine which arrangement would provide a conducive environment for growth and development.

Logistics and stability

The most beneficial custody arrangements may not always be the most convenient. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes both parents work. Neither party may live very close to the other. Children may have extracurricular activities that require them to remain local to one of their parents. Schooling, support systems and other factors may also affect the logistics of an arrangement.

Best interests also reference the abilities of both parents to provide a loving and stable home. According to, parents wanting custody need to demonstrate responsibility and reasonable mental and physical health. They need to provide shelter, food, clothing and education. Homes that have a history of domestic violence, drug use or other dangerous circumstances will often face scrutiny prior to making any child custody decisions.

Individual needs

Depending on the ages of the children involved, the courts may consider the preferences of each child. They will also assess each child’s medical needs, emotional awareness and educational needs. Each child’s relationship with his or her parents may also influence custody arrangements. According to The Mayo Clinic, children react to traumatic events like divorce in a variety of ways. Parents can ease this adjustment when they remain amicable and choose to collaborate to meet the needs of their children.


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