What is in your child’s best interests?

If you have a matter in Family Court dealing with children, a phrase you will hear constantly is “the best interest of the child.” Family courts were created in large part to help ensure that the end result of family proceedings is one that is the most beneficial for any children involved. This means that when issues such as child support, custody, relocation and visitation arise, a court will try to resolve the situation in a way that promotes the well-being of the child.

In doing so, a court may look at a few different factors.  If the child is old enough, the court may ask the child what their wishes are. A court may try to keep siblings together.  Most likely, the court will try to disrupt the children’s lives as little as possible. This may mean that visitations are worked around a child’s extracurricular activities, or maybe a parent can’t move out of a school district so the child can live with the parent and attend a certain school.  As long as it is beneficial to do so, a court will try to come up with a custody and visitation agreement that allows a child to have and maintain a relationship with both parents. There are many, many other factors that are looked at, but the result is still going to be the same – the best interests of the child.

The Court will always be looking out for the best interests of the child, but it is also helpful to select an attorney who is sensitive to the needs of the child(ren). This way, the parents, courts, and attorneys can work together for a result that promotes the safety, security, well-being, and overall best interest of the child.

-Marissa McGill


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