Hartley Law Office, LLC

Hartley Law Office, LLC

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What defines the best interest of a child?

Ohio parents who are going through the divorce process have likely heard the term "best interest of the child" at some point. This is used as a measuring tool by the court to determine what decisions should be made regarding their custody, but exactly what factors into it?

The Child Custody Project has detailed essays regarding this topic. The best interest of the child, as they state it, is a "social necessity" and includes a huge number of different factors. For example, the lifestyle of the parents is often called into question. How much you make, whether or not you are employed, and if you can provide a stable lifestyle for the child are important. Home habits are also important, including the safety of the environment and how well you can protect and provide for your child.

Personal history plays a role. If there's been a history of abuse or assault, the courts will focus on that and put a lot of weight on it. Additionally, if you have had issues in the past with drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling addictions, or other issues that might reduce the peace and prosperity in your child's life, this could also work against you. The child's preference may also be taken into consideration, depending on their age.

The courts may even take unlisted considerations into mind when making their decision. It can be difficult to pinpoint what they will focus on, but knowing the most basic things that they take into account could help better prepare you for the custody case.

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