Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Understanding the 'best interests of the child' philosophy

While parents involved in a divorce can understand how difficult the time may be for them, sometimes the effects of a divorce on a child or children involved in the divorce could be overlooked or not properly addressed. Throughout the United States, including the Orange County, California, area, the courts recognize the potential trauma that could be involved in a divorce from the perspective of the children.

This is why, when looking at children involved in a divorce, the courts put a primary focus on protecting the well-being and best interests of the children. All decision-making will keep this perspective in mind, and much of the analysis of the information they gather before making their decisions will be based on that philosophy.

This means that the courts will look at each parent's relationship with their child, as well as many aspects of each parent, including but not limited to the physical and mental condition of each parent, ability to care for their children, their financial situation, their history including any history of domestic violence, a criminal record or a history of drug or alcohol abuse, and if the children have any special needs, how those needs are taken care of by each parent.

In maintaining their focus on the best interests of the child, the courts will weigh heavily on that philosophy when making their decision regarding child custody, child support and even property division. It is not uncommon for the custodial parent to also be awarded the opportunity to stay at the home, as this could minimize potential changes in their children's lives, further impacting them.

Source: FindLaw, "Focusing on the 'Best Interests' of the Child," accessed on July 3, 2017

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