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Prioritizing the children’s best interests in custody decisions

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Child Custody

In the intricate web of family law, few considerations hold as much weight as the children’s best interests. This principle guides legal professionals to ensure that minors remain first and foremost in divorce decisions.

How do courts establish parenting terms?

A few common factors emerge as a judge meticulously evaluates and acknowledges the multidimensional nature of a child’s life. Considerations in determining children’s best interests include:

  • Safety: Courts actively work to protect children from any form of physical, emotional or psychological harm.
  • Children’s wishes: Depending on a child’s age, New York courts may consider kids’ parental preferences.
  • Stability: Courts explore kids’ attachments to siblings, extended family members, friends and the broader community to assess how custody arrangements may affect essential relationships.
  • Finances: A parent’s inability to provide necessary housing and healthcare may factor into court orders.
  • Co-parenting capacity: Courts value a collaborative dynamic between parents. Effective communication, cooperation and a desire to model a healthy relationship may help support children’s well-being.

Courts generally maintain that both parents are an intrinsic part of kids’ growth and development process. As such, there’s a preference for shared custody, apart from any health, addiction or legal concerns that may affect an individual’s ability to meet their children’s physical and emotional needs.

Parents must remain focused on their kids, regardless of the emotion and conflict involved in their marital dissolution. Courts help divorcing spouses create terms geared toward helping their children grow and thrive in the coming years.






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