The primary concern of the courts is what is in the best interests of the children.
In determining the best interests of the children for purposes of determining custody and visitation, the courts look at a number of factors including:
- Age, physical and mental condition of the children
- Age, physical and mental condition of the parents
- Relationship existing between each parent and the children giving consideration to the positive involvement with each child’s life and the ability to assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of each child
- Needs of the children, giving consideration to other important relationships of the children including siblings and extended family members
- Role each parent has played and will play in the future in the upbringing and care of each child
- Propensity of each parent to actually support the children’s contact and relationship with the other parent. Has a parent denied the other parent access to the children?
- Willingness and ability of each parent to maintain a close/continuing relationship with the children and ability of each parent to cooperate in resolving disputes
- Reasonable preference of the children
- History of family abuse
Whether the issues of custody and visitation occur within the context of a divorce or a dispute between non-married parents, step-parents and even grandparents, we can assist in helping the client get through such difficult and emotional times and protect their parental rights.