Best Interest of the Child: Top Priority in Child Custody
Child custody may arise because of a number of reasons, such as divorce, parental deaths, and even domestic violence cases. Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t change the fact that child custody is one of the most argumentative and emotional subjects in a family court, and there is good reason for this. After all, we are talking about a child here, and custody can make or break parental relations.
According to the website of these San Antonio child custody attorneys, there are different kinds of custody, such as physical custody, or where the child will spend time, and legal custody, or who will make decisions about the child, such as for education and health. What custody will be utilized will depend on a case to case basis.
But even though there are different kinds of custody, they share one all-encompassing concept – it is for the best interest of the child. Yes, the best interest of the child is the top priority in all child custody cases. But what is best interest anyway? It may include a lot of factors, such as the following.
Parents’ Capability to Provide
A parent has a lot of financial responsibilities – food, shelter, education, healthcare, especially if the child has a permanent condition, among others. For the best interest of the child, a parent that has more financial power is likely to get a favorable response from the family court. This includes the parent’s age, skill marketability, job stability, medical condition to work, and overall economic standing.
Parents’ Relationship with the Child
Take note that custody is not absolute, in the sense that a parent who has been given custody will have full authority and the other parent will not have any. That is the reason why there are different kinds of custody. But this can change if a parent’s relationship with the child is detrimental. For example, a father who has been proven to abuse his child will have very limited custody and visitation rights, and there may also be instances where there will be a court order to completely remove his access to the child.
The parent that has a better overall relationship with the child will be given the advantage when it comes to child custody.
There are also conditions wherein the child will already have a voice, whether he wants to go with the father or the mother. Though this can be a huge factor in child custody cases, the family court still has the best interest of the child in mind, and sometimes, this doesn’t necessarily coincide with the child’s preference. Preference is a factor, but it is not absolute.
The needs of the child can be highlighted here. For example, a child wants to go with his mother, but his father is the one that has more financial capability, knows more about his medical condition, and has more maturity to cater to his needs. The father may be more favorable for the family court.