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What is in the best interest of the child?

When couples are ending their marriage, they have to make many difficult decisions. If there are children involved then the decisions get even more complicated, as determining their custody and visitation can become the most contentious issue in the divorce, souring the remaining issues.

When Florida couples are unable to agree on child custody matters, the court then gets involved and makes a decision for the parents. When making decisions that affect children, such as placement, safety and permanency placement and custody determinations, the court has to consider the child's best interests. "The best interests of the child" is, in fact, the legal term for the considerations the court must make. This standard may sound vague to those who come across it for the first time, but Florida law lays down specific factors that the court must consider when making a decision about the best interests of the child.

The factors the courts considers are the emotional ties and relationship between the child and their parents and other household members, and the capacity to provide a safe home and requisite food, clothing and medical care. In addition to this, the court also looks at the mental and physical health of the parents.

The court is not restricted to these factors only and can consider other matters it considers relevant. As mentioned previously, these family law matters may seem deceptively uncomplicated and the terminology vague. But they are specific phrases that can be demonstrated in court and an experienced family law attorney can help guide parents through the process.


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