Understanding Best Interest of the Child Factors

Child Custody
Understanding Best Interest of the Child Factors

May 30, 2023

When going through a divorce, it is crucial to consider the child’s best interest. Legal teams, including divorce attorneys, play a pivotal role in assessing and advocating for children’s best interests during divorce proceedings.

Divorce is an emotionally turbulent time for children and their parents that becomes incredibly complicated when children experience new homes, schools, and parenting time schedules. Additionally, custody may become contentious if one parent is less fit for responsible caregiving. The following article details what the best interest of children means and how a family law attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your family law case. 

What factors are included in determining the best interests of a child?

According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, there are several factors that legal teams take into account when assessing the best interest of the child. These factors include the child’s age, gender, physical and mental health, and educational needs. Additionally, the child’s relationship with each parent, their living arrangements, and the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s emotional, physical, and financial needs are all considered.

Divorce attorneys can assist in looking at the best interests by providing legal advice and guidance to parents. They can help parents understand the legal process and the factors considered when determining the child’s best interest. Attorneys can also help parents negotiate child custody arrangements and advocate for their client’s position in court.

How does Indiana determine the best interests of a child?

In Indiana, the court’s primary concern during a divorce is the child’s best interest. The identified city or state court will consider several factors to determine the child’s best interest when deciding on child custody, parenting time, and other related matters.

Some of the factors the court may consider when determining the best interest of the child include:

  1. The child’s age, sex, and emotional and developmental needs.
  2. The parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs.
  3. The child’s relationship with each parent and other family members.
  4. The child’s wishes, if the child is old enough and mature enough to express them.
  5. The parent’s history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
  6. The parent’s ability to cooperate and communicate with each other in matters related to the child.
  7. The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
  8. Any other factor the court deems relevant to the child’s best interests.

The court will consider all of these factors to make decisions that serve the child’s best interests. It’s important to note that the court may determine that it’s in the child’s best interests to have frequent and meaningful contact with both parents unless it would put the child in danger or harm the child in some way.

Are you going through a divorce with children? Contact us today.

At The Bellinger Law Office, our family law attorneys have a wealth of experience representing clients in various family law matters. Our attorneys deeply understand the legal process and can provide expert guidance and representation to clients throughout the divorce process. 

We understand the importance of the child’s best interest and work tirelessly to protect our client’s interests. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. 

Guidance for Families


Meet Attorney

Robert H. Bellinger



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