Making Decisions in the Best Interests of the Child

One of the most emotional parts of a divorce can be trying to make decisions when there are children involved. One is supposed to make decisions "In the best interests of the child." But what does this really mean?

The words "best interests of the child" have no one, single meaning. This is why laws in most states define "best interests" by listing a number of factors. Generally, judges are directed to look at the following factors:

  • the wishes of both parents;
  • the wishes of the child;
  • the relationship between the child and his parents, siblings and other important people in his life;
  • the child's adjustment to home, school & community; and
  • the emotional & physical health of everyone involved.

Most people would agree that the best interests of the child should largely be geared toward the type of relationship and bonding the child has with each parent. Where will he be happiest? Letting the child have a say is often in his best interests, not merely what the parents think is best. The focus is "in the best interests of the child."

If you are involved in a child custody matter, let the experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLP help you come to decisions that are important and need to be made correctly from the beginning. Contact us for a consultation at (310) 817-6904.