What factors make up a child’s best interests?

Ending a relationship, especially if it’s a marriage, can be emotionally devastating. Even when it’s not, the untangling of finances can be a headache. However, for most South Carolina couples going through a breakup, the most important thing to them is their children. Dealing with child custody and visitation issues can be heated when disagreements arise, which is why individuals need to be prepared to make strong legal arguments to support their position.

Those who are seeking to establish an initial child custody order, as well as those seeking to modify an existing one, need to consider what is in the best interests of their child. After all, that is exactly what the court will do when making a decision regarding custody and visitation.

So, what constitutes a child’s best interests? There are a number of factors. If the child is old enough, then his or her wishes may weigh pretty heavily. Other factors, though, include each parent’s mental health, history of domestic violence, and history of drug or alcohol abuse. Each parent’s financial ability to care for the child will also be considered. The relationship between the child and each of the parents, as well as with other members in each parent’s household, will also be taken into account.

How a judge considers these factors is entirely dependent upon the evidence that is presented to him or her. So, those who find themselves amidst a child custody or visitation fight need to make sure that they are gathering all of the evidence at their disposal and using it to their advantage when developing legal arguments. To acquire assistance in crafting these legal arguments, South Carolinians can reach out to attorneys who are experienced and skilled in family law, like those at our firm.