In many family law cases involving child custody or visitation, one of the primary considerations in a judge’s decision is what is in the best interest of the child. What exactly does that mean, and how does a judge determine what the best interests are for your case? Understanding how the court establishes the best interest of your child can make a substantial difference in your case. At Kryszak & Associates, our experienced Ohio family law attorneys are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your case now.
Best Interest of the Child
In order to determine what decision is in the best interests of a child in an Ohio family law case, the judge first looks to codified law. The state law lists a number of factors that the judge must weigh in order to decide what is in the child’s best interests. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The wishes of the child’s parents regarding the child’s care
- The child’s wishes and concerns if the court interviews the child
- The child’s current relationships with the parents, siblings, and any other important person
- The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of the parents and the child
- Which parent is more likely to honor and facilitate parenting rights or visitation
- Whether either parent has failed to make child support payments
- Whether either parent previously has been convicted of child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Whether either parent has denied the other parent’s right to parenting time
- Whether either parent lives out of state or plans to move out of state
The judge weighs these factors and other considerations when making the ultimate determination of what decision would be in the best interests of the child. The court may also consider the financial situation of one or both parents, whether there is a history of mental illness, substance abuse, or any other situation that may affect the wellbeing of the child.
What to do as a Parent
Knowing what the court looks at when determining the best interests of the child can be incredibly beneficial to your case. If you are battling over child custody or a modification, do not keep your child from seeing the other parent. Keep records of child support payments and records of any instances of domestic issues caused by the other parent. Finally, maintain records of your child’s schooling, extracurriculars, and other activities in the community that can show the court why it is in your child’s best interest to be with you.
Talk to Our Office Today
For more information about how the court decides what is in a child’s best interests or for a free consultation of your family law case, call or contact the expert Ohio family law attorneys at Kryszak & Associates to speak with one of our highly qualified lawyers today.