How A Child’s Best Interests Are Determined After Divorce
Whenever Louisiana parents end their relationship through a divorce and have to deal with the issue of child custody and visitation rights, they should make their decisions based on what would be in the best interests of their children. This longstanding family law principle means that the final decisions in child custody cases are based on protecting the child’s physical, emotional and mental well-being so that the child will feel secure and happy.
A child’s best interest is best promoted through a healthy relationship with both parents. However, sustaining such a relationship can be challenging for those facing parenting arrangements. Parents must remember that the parenting order, whether determined by a family court judge or through out-of-court negotiations, will have a far-reaching affect on their relationship with the child as well as factors surrounding the development of their children.
In order to protect the best interests of their children during a divorce, parents should keep in mind several factors that are used to measure the child’s best interests. The parent’s physical and mental health is considered. Is there a parent that is abusive or one that has a problem with drugs or alcohol? One parent may be more capable than the other in taking care of a special-needs child. A child who is of a certain age should be able to choose which parent he or she wishes to live with. The home environment must be stable and one that promotes healthy relationships with other household members. The child should also be supported by grandparents or other extended members of the family.
Following a divorce, many parents involved in a child custody dispute retain the services of an experienced Louisiana attorney to help them work out the complexities that arise during the case. Moreover, legal guidance in such circumstances might assist a parent with matters pertaining to visitation plans and alimony as well.
Source: Findlaw, “Focusing on the “Best Interests” of the Child“, December 03, 2014