How Does the Court Determine What is in the Best Interest of the Child?
In cases of child custody regardless of whether or not there is a disagreement between parental parties, the Court is going to evaluate what is in the best interest of the child as it relates to living arrangements, schooling and relationships. So what does the Court take into account when determining the question of custody of children? Actually, the answer is defined fairly clearly by Title 13 of the Delaware Code.
The court is going to look at a number of factors including but not limited to the wishes of the child. Who does he or she prefer to live with? Is there a reason that the child does not want to live with one parent or another? The Court will also assess the wishes of the parents. If the parents have already agreed on arrangements, as is often the case, the Court will likely adopt such arrangements into the decision, except in cases where there is a history of abuse. If it proven that there is a history of abuse of the child or one of the parents by the other parental party, the the responsibility of the Court is to take this into consideration in order to ensure the safety of the child. In cases such as these, often the rights of a parent will be very limited when it comes to visitation let alone custody. Other factors may include the criminal history of a parent, the physical and mental health of a child as it relates to relocating to a new community and much more.
What is consistent is that the Court is tasked with evaluating all of the factors that influence what is in the best interest of a child as it pertains to his or her living situation, schooling and relationships with family and social group. If you have any questions about child custody, it is important that you speak with a lawyer who understands custody laws in Delaware Courts. To learn more, call our offices today!