What are the Best Interests of the Child?

April 07, 2020  

Filing for divorce is never an easy process, and divorce can be even more complicated when a child is involved. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody and visitation for your child, the issue may ultimately go to the court to decide. When the judge must make a determination on any issue involving a minor, they do so through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child. What exactly are the best interests of the child and what factors are involved in that determination? At Kryszak & Associates in Ohio, our divorce experts know what the court is looking for when determining the best interests of a child and can help you with your custody and visitation case. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free evaluation of your case. 

When is the Best Interests Standard Used?

The court will use the best interests of the child standard whenever an issue arises involving your child that you and your spouse cannot agree to outside of court. This includes an original determination of custody and visitation during a divorce but may also arise in other situations, as well. This standard is utilized if one parent chooses to appeal the custody decision by the court as well as for any requests to modify the custody and visitation agreement if circumstances change over time with you, your former spouse, and your child. The factors listed in the best interests of the child standard could ultimately determine whether you receive sole or joint custody as well as the circumstances of any visitation rights, so it is important to understand what the court is looking for when making a decision about your child in court.

Best Interest of the Child Factors

When deciding what is in the best interests of the child, the court weighs a number of different factors to make its ultimate determination. The factors considered when determining the best interests of the child include the following:

  • The wishes of each parent
  • What changes would be made to the child’s home, school, and community
  • Each parent’s likelihood to facilitate parenting time with the other parent
  • The child’s wishes (if old enough)
  • The mental and physical health of the parents and the child
  • Any history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect by a parent
  • The child’s relationships and interactions with each parent, siblings, and any others who would affect the determination
  • Whether a parent resides in another state
  • Any failures to make court-ordered child support payments

Understanding what the court looks for can be critical in making your case for custody or visitation of your child. Your attorney can review the best interest factors with you and help build the best possible arguments for why it is in your child’s best interests to spend as much time as possible with you.

Talk to Our Office Now

If you would like to speak with an expert in Ohio divorce law about your child custody or visitation matter, call or contact Kryszak & Associates today to schedule a free consultation of your case.