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Proving Best Interests of the Child in a Custody Case

Child hugs father during a child custody case meeting with lawyers.

Elements That Prove What Is Best for a Child

In terms of child custody, the happiness, emotional development, security and mental health of a child is of paramount importance. This is called the best interests of the child, and all decisions in a child custody case are based on that. The court’s decision is determined by the proof presented in the case. Let’s examine the major factors the court considers and how to show proof that the decisions the judge makes will be in the best interests of the child.

General Factors the Court Considers

There are general factors used by the court when deciding what is best for a child. These are:

  • Can the parent requesting custody provide for the child: Clearly, the court wants to ensure the child will be well cared for once custody is decided. This means the parent who requests custody can provide for the child’s emotional and physical needs. These needs include emotional guidance and support, food, housing, medical care, clothing and education. The judge will also decide whether the requesting parent has the emotional and physical ability to care for the best interests of the child.
  • Maintaining a child’s routine: It is important to keep the child’s access to extended family members, schooling, friends and child care consistent. The court does not want to disrupt the child’s life any more than it has to. 
  • The age of the child: Young children are dependent on the primary caregiver and need the parent who will fulfill this task. The court often defers to the person who provides this level of care and has formed a strong bond with the child. At an older age, the court may take the child’s wishes concerning custody into account. 
  • Child’s safety: Without question, the court considers the child’s safety of primary importance. Any change in custody that puts the safety of the child at risk will be seriously examined. 
  • Impact on the child’s life: The court tries to ensure that any changes will have a positive impact on the child’s life. 

Proof the the Best Interests of the Child Are Protected

To show that decisions are in the best interests of the child, the court will ask the custody-seeking parent for evidence. Of primary importance is that the requesting parent shows that they have consistently been a part of their child’s life and a strong caregiver in the past. 

The relationship between the parents is a big factor. The bond between the parents, especially when it comes to child care, is considered and something the court will take into account. In this case, the parent who displays a greater interest in coming together to help the child will be favored.

Showing the court that a parent has taken steps to enroll the child in school and is a strong presence in their upbringing and even in extracurricular activities is helpful. Overall, the court looks to see how much a parent has and will continue to nurture the child.

Major Factors Against the Best Interests of the Child

The aim of custody is to allow parents access to the child and vice versa except in certain cases where the well-being of the child is at risk. The courts frown on granting custody to a parent that keeps the other parent from seeing the child or making it difficult to do so. Even when one parent has sole custody, efforts to make visitation for the other parent difficult are not acceptable from the court’s view.

Morris Law Firm in the Myrtle Beach Area

When you are entering into a custody hearing, it is best to have an experienced attorney at your side. The Morris Law Firm will be there every step of the way. Call us at (843) 232-0944, or contact us online to set up a free case review. Let us help you prove that your custody is in the best interests of the child.

MORRIS LAW FIRM - MYRTLE BEACH OFFICE
2411 N. Oak Street, Suite 403A 4th Floor
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 232-0944

MORRIS LAW FIRM - MURRELLS OFFICE
11054 SC-707
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
(843) 232-0944

Call us now for a FREE consultation!