What is the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard?

The Best Interests of the Child is the generally-applicable standard by which a judge will evaluate decisions involving children. It involves analysis of several factors that are relevant to a child’s physical and emotional development and well-being, including but not limited to: the past, present, and future relationship between the parent and child; the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parents or siblings; the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community; if the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child; the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; and which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent.