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In Child Custody Cases, What Constitutes "Best Interest of the Child"? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Baker Law Firm   
Find out why divorcing parents should consider North Carolina's child welfare statutes when preparing a custody case.

July 22, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While all court cases are emotionally taxing, cases involving children are especially so. Judges and lawyers must consider nuances in each individual case about what actions are in the best interests of the child or children involved and balance that with what is best for the family. Determining the "best interests of the child" can be a daunting task. At the end of the day, the child's safety and well-being are essential to a court's decision.

Some states, including North Carolina, have adopted several principles to guide court decisions. These principles include permanence for the child, which may include keeping the family intact or placing the child in a foster home or permanent adoption. It also includes consideration of the child's health, safety and protection. Emotional ties to family, basic care like shelter, food and medical care, and physical and mental health are all factors that are considered.

In North Carolina, courts are required to provide "fairness and equity" to parents and children in all rulings, and are also required to protect the constitutional rights of both parents and children. The state requires that the child's "needs and limitations" and the family's "strength and weaknesses" are considered.

Since judges are bound to these standards and guidelines when they make custody decisions, both parents should build their cases considering these factors. Each parent should be able to demonstrate why the best interests of the child are best met by him or herself using the principles outlined in their home state's statutes.

If a parent fails to prove that he or she is best option for the welfare of the child, a judge may decide against that parent. Thus, in custody battles, it is important for parents and their lawyers to focus primarily on the best interests of the children involved.

 



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