Often, parents who are facing child custody disputes opt to negotiate acceptable compromises. These compromises typically outline parenting time and other custody-related terms. It is not always possible to negotiate with a co-parent, however.
If you and your co-parent cannot agree about child custody, parenting time or something else that involves your children, you may have little choice but to ask a court to intervene. By law, judges must make child-associated decisions pursuant to what is in the best interests of the involved child or children.
A child’s physical and emotional well-being
You might wonder how a court that does not know your child can determine what is in his or her best interests. According to the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Massachusetts judges prioritize the health, safety and protection of children. This means you can expect the court in your case to evaluate what your child needs to be both physically and emotionally secure.
A multi-factor test
As you might suspect, it can be difficult to determine what makes a child safe and healthy. Therefore, courts in the Bay State routinely consider several factors when determining a child’s best interests. Judges also may consider any other relevant information that might affect what is best for a child. Consequently, when planning for your custody hearing, it is important to focus on each factor a judge might weigh.
Going through a custody dispute can be heartwrenching. Ultimately, though, by knowing what courts use to determine a child’s best interests, you might be able to take some of the stress out of the process.