Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Best interests of the child

The courts are supposed to use the best interests of the child when determining custody issues. Unfortunately I do not believe that the courts actually follow this doctrine when an alienating parent is determined to obtain custody. I think the courts fail miserably to ascertain each and every aspect of what each suggested factor encompasses. I believe too much weight is given to the child's preference without further investigation as to why the child feels so determined to change primary residence.

I found this historical synopsis today.
Until the early 1900s, fathers were given custody of the children in case of divorce. Many U.S. states then shifted from this standard to one that completely favored the mother as the primary caregiver. In the 1970s, the tender years doctrine was replaced by the best interests of the child as determined by family courts. Because many family courts continue to give great weight to the traditional role of the mother as the primary caregiver, application of this standard in custody has historically tended to favor the mother of the children.
The "best interests of the child" doctrine is sometimes used in cases where non-parents, such as grandparents, ask a court to order non-parent visitation with a child. Some parents, usually those who are not awarded custody, say that using the "best interests of the child" doctrine in non-parent visitation cases fails to protect a fit parent's fundamental right to raise their child in the manner they see fit.

In this article, you will find a summary of state laws regarding this doctrine.


“Best interests of the child” generally refers to the
deliberation that courts undertake when deciding
who is best suited to take care of a child. Factors
that may be considered by the court when making a
best interests determination can include:

The age and sex of the child

The mental and physical health of the child

The mental and physical health of the parents

The lifestyle and other social factors of the parents
The emotional ties between the parents and the child

The ability of the parents to provide the child with food,
shelter, clothing, and medical care

The child’s established ties to school, home, community, and
religious institutions

The child’s preference

Parental alienation is abuse. Stop the abuse.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is a true learning experience. I have not experienced any of what you are living through but someday you will be "the good parent". Your son will see the light!