If you are in the middle of a child custody case, you will probably hear mention of the best interests of the child. The judge makes his or her determination based on the child’s best interests. The judge has several factors that he or she can consider when making his or her decision. These factors include a child’s safety, age, routine and the parent’s ability to take care of the child, explains Very Well Family.
Safety is the number one priority of the court and should be the number one priority of you and your former spouse. If the judge believes that you or your spouse is an unfit parent then he or she may factor this into the custody decision. In addition to safety, the court likes to provide children with consistency and routine. For instance, if living with you full time would disrupt his or her school schedule or interactions with friends and other family members, the judge may decide to keep his or her custody arrangement the same.
Children can also have input on where they want to stay and how they want custody handled. Now, this does not mean that your child’s choice will sway the court, but if your child is old enough to understand the situation, he or she may be able to add to the conversation.
To show that you have your child’s best interests in mind, you need to show that you have been an active participant in his or her life. If your child attends school close to your home and that you are active in his or her school and extracurricular life, it shows you have the best interests at heart.