What factors go into the best interests of the child?

As you work through child custody struggles, the biggest deciding factor for what arrangement works is what is best for the child.

Knowing what factors determine the best social and emotional interests of the child can help you in court.

Familial factors

According to Wisconsin Legislature, there are multiple legal guidelines for what the court bases their decision on, including if the child expresses a wish to stay with one parent or the other. The judge considers the closeness and stability of the relationship between the child and each parent, along with how much time you regularly spent with him or her.

If the child is not old enough to express his or her thoughts out loud, then the court may look at other factors more closely. The ability to interact with extended members of the family, such as grandparents or siblings, can also influence where the child stays.

Health and safety factors

Physical safety and wellness are also considered while analyzing this situation. If there are signs of domestic violence or drug-related problems with one parent, it reflects negatively on him or her. If the child has special physical or mental needs, the court looks at who is more likely to be able to give quality attention and care to these issues.

Adjustment factors

Changing schools or communities, as well as moving houses, can greatly impact a developing child’s mental state. Stability is an important factor during the custody determination, especially if the child is young.

The judge usually notes your ability to communicate and work together with the court or the other parent. A positive and attentive attitude shows you are more likely to be reliable in future situations, especially ones involving your child.