What Exactly Are the Child’s Best Interests?
Nov. 20, 2018
During the divorce proceedings, the court usually pays particular interest to child custody matters. When determining custody, the judge evaluates schedules that suit the children, depending on different factors. What exactly are those factors? Read on to find out.
Arizona Revised Statutes 25-403 outlines exactly what the court must consider when determining the best interests of a child when it comes to decision-making and parenting time. This can be done during the original divorce proceeding, or on a petition for modification. The 11 factors the court must consider are:
The past, present, and future relationship between the parent and child
The interaction and relationship between the child and the other parent, any siblings, or any other person who plays a significant role in the child’s life
The adjustment that the child will have to make to a new home, school, and/or community
The preference of the child, assuming they are of “suitable age and maturity”
The mental and physical health of everyone involved
Which parent will more easily allow the child continued contact with the other parent (NOTE: this does not apply in situations of abuse or domestic violence)
Whether or not one parent has intentionally misled the court to cause delays or an increased cost in litigation to persuade the court to rule in their favor
Whether or not there has been domestic violence or child abuse
The extent of coercion by one parent in obtaining a legal decision-making or parenting time agreement
Whether or not a parent has complied with Title 25, Chapter 3, Article 5 (this deals with a child’s education)
Whether or not either parent was convicted of filing a false abuse report under section 13-2907.02
Once the court reviews these factors, they will make their specific findings on the record and state their reasons for which the final decision is truly in the child’s best interest.
Children are an integral part of the community and need special considerations to protect their future, at least when it comes to divorces and child custody decisions. If you are looking for a family law attorney who will ensure your child’s best interests are respected in your upcoming divorce, Tad Davis has you covered. Get in touch today.