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What are the “best interests of the child” in a divorce case?

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2023 | Family Law |

When Kentucky residents are going through a divorce, there can seem to be an avalanche of questions for them to answer and legal issues to address. However, if the divorce involves minor children, there is usually one issue that trumps all others: child custody.

Child custody basics

If you are facing a contentious child custody issue as part of your divorce case, you have probably heard the term “best interests of the child” quite a bit. While this term may seem like common sense—everyone wants what is best for the child—in actuality, this is a legal term that family law judges are bound by when they are called upon to make child custody decisions.

And, of course, this term is highly subjective. After all, what is best for one child may not be best for another. It is up to the judge to weigh certain factors to determine what, exactly, the best interests of the child are in a child custody dispute. Factors, for instance, such as: the child’s wishes, if the child is old enough to express them; the relationships of the child and each separate parent; relationships between the child and siblings if any; and, obviously, what exactly each parent wants must be considered. Other factors may come into play as well.

As our readers can imagine, it is no easy task for a family law judge in Kentucky to make decisions about the “best interests of the child.” That is why it can be crucial for divorcing parents to attempt to reach an out-of-court agreement on child custody issues, if possible.