Best Interests of the Child

Long Island Divorce Lawyer Protects Your Family's Needs & Rights

If you are in the midst of a divorce with children, you should gain an understanding of how the "best interest" standard is applied in your case. One of the most difficult challenges to a divorce is discussing and agreeing to a child custody arrangement. In some cases, parents are able to amicably negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement, making it much easier for the family's relationships to remain civil. At other times, however, divorcing parents are unable to reach an agreement and must accept the court's custody decision. Our Long Island divorce attorney can take aggressive actions to ensure that the best interest of the child is made the first priority whether your child custody or visitation case is being handled in or out of court.

Under New York state laws, the court will make child custody and visitations decisions based on the best interests of the child. Judges within the New York courts are not bound by a list of factors they must consider. Instead, they practice discretion in regard to the specific circumstances of that case. Some of the factors they may take into consideration include the health of the parents, the relationship of the child among other family members, and each parent's capability to provide for the child. Family law decisions regarding children are ultimately based on the child's best interests.

What Impacts the Best Interest of the Child

Courts take into consideration a number of issues as they decide what is in the best interest of the child. Courts consider allegations of child abuse and domestic violence when they determine who should have child custody. All parties of a divorce must also keep in mind that the best interest of the child will constantly change throughout his or her lifetime. After the court has determined a custody or visitation decision in regard to the child, modifications can be made at a later date as necessary. The best interest of the child is still the primary focus as the court decides whether to approve a modification. In fact, modifications throughout the course of that individual's childhood may be necessary to ensure that the child's best interests are maintained as the top priority.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNICEF) has a distinct mission to protect the rights of children and allow their voices to be heard. The courts in New York have a similar goal when it comes to deciding factors regarding a child's best interest. Preferences of an older child often are given substantial weight within the family court system. Younger children may be interviewed about their preferences, which may also be factored into the court's decision. Relationships that each parent has with the child are also assessed. If you would like more insight into what the court may deem to be in the best interest of your child, we encourage you to speak with our firm today. Call now to schedule a free case evaluation!

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