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Why courts focus on the best interests of the child

While going through a divorce with children involved from the marriage, many of the decisions made by the California courts will be made by one standard: "protecting the best interests of the children." So what is meant by this, and how do the courts take this consideration and apply it to their decisions regarding child custody and child support?

The courts recognize the importance of a child's life and understand that the environment they live in could affect their upbringing and what type of people they become later in life. The courts want to minimize the impact a divorce may have on a child as much as possible. Although inevitably many changes will be made, if the courts can minimize the changes in child's life, it may help protect them from any possible negative impact the child may experience.

The courts will take several factors into consideration while making their decisions. These could include but are not limited to studying the child and family's lifestyle before the divorce. They will look to determine who the overall caregiver of the child or children is -- who feeds and dresses the child, who takes the child out during errands and for recreational activities, who studies and does homework with the child, who puts the child to bed, and so on. The courts will also look at the physical and mental health of each parent. They will look at the finances and earnings of each parent. They may even ask the children for their own opinions on their relationships with their parents. These are all factors that go into the court's decision.

If you are going through a divorce and have concerns or questions about how the courts will make their ruling regarding child custody, you may want to speak with a law firm that handles family law. Having a strong team at your side might prove to be beneficial in obtaining the wishes you seek with regards to divorce and the decisions made by the courts.

Source: FindLaw, "Focusing on the 'Best Interests' of the Child,"accessed on July 11, 2017

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