How to Prove Best Interest of the Child?

The best interest of the child factors is not always easy to prove in family law matters. This especially is true when you have two parents of seemingly equal standing who wish to be the primary caregivers to their children.

Unfortunately, divorce is a problem that affects many children with some studies putting the number at around six of 10 divorces. Knowing what these factors are ahead of time will allow you to put your best foot forward in a custody dispute and ensure your children experience a smoother transition into their new normal.

In the following article, we'll go through everything you and your Child Custody Attorney will need to consider when building your case. Let's begin!

Living Situations

The best interest of the child starts with the type of living situation in which they can expect to be. Does Mom or Dad make more money, have a cleaner home, or demonstrate more stability in their day-to-day life?

Are there areas of concern, such as bringing other “significant others” around the child too soon or too many run-ins with police? These can all play pivotal roles in what a judge decides.

Respecting Spousal Roles

Much of the best interest of the child case law puts a great deal of stock in how the parents respect one another. One parent who makes custody exchanges difficult or files many police reports without proper standing can be seen as harassing the other.

As parents, you have to respect each other. Angry text messages, tense custody exchanges, or always starting fights over the broken relationship do not demonstrate a good environment for the child. Nor does using the child as a “spy” on the other parent.

Preferences of the Child

If the child is old enough, around early teen years, the best interest of the child standard can be influenced by their actual preference. Judges are not above asking children with clear maturity where they want to live. The child's preferences are not as influential with children grade-school-aged or younger.

Presence of Abuse or Neglect

Of course, any family law act in the best interests of the child will penalize parents responsible for the presence of abuse or neglect. Proving the other parent is neglecting or abusing the child physically, mentally, or emotionally, will certainly make for a convincing argument in court.

How Active the Parent Is

Another factor in how to prove the best interest of the child is to look at which parent takes the primary lead. This goes beyond money to factors like the following: 

  • Attends doctor or dental appointments
  • Stays active in school activities
  • Provides the most personal care

If you're not active in your child's life in such matters, it can sway a judge to the other side. In other words, get actives soon as possible. 

It's also important to note that you should never get comfortable and go back to old ways if you weren't the most active beforehand. Your continued active role in the child's life will play a part in whether relocating your child is a viable option, for example. Don't slack off. 

Ace These Best Interest of the Child Factors to Win Your Case 

We hope this look at the primary best interest of the child factors will prepare you to put your best foot forward in court. While you can’t control every factor, such as the child’s preference, you can make the best case by establishing a stable and loving environment, respecting the other parent, and staying active in the child’s life. 

For more legal information and family tips, check out some of our additional posts. 

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