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Best interest of the child The custody of legal by the family court for making child related
decisions; all States, as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands,
Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have statutes requiring that the child's best interests be
considered whenever specified types of decisions are made regarding a child's custody, placement, or
other "
Best interests" determinations are generally made by considering a number of factors related to
the circumstances of the child and the circumstances and capacity of the child's potential caregiver(s),
with the child's ultimate safety and well-being as the paramount concern.

The best factors are considered;

- The emotional ties and relationship with the child and his or her parents, brothers & sisters, family and
household members of the rest of the family, or other caregivers;
- which parent is the main care giver or nurturer of the child;
- the parent's work schedules and child care plans of each parent ;
- The capacity of the parents to provide a safe home and adequate food, clothing, and medical care
with their employment and income;
- The mental and physical health needs of the child
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- the parenting skills, strengths, weaknesses and ability to provide for the child's special needs, if either
ability to cooperate with the other and to encourage a relationship with the child;
- The presence of domestic violence in the home;
- What the child wants, depending on the age of the child.
Civil Rights of Children / The child's wishes - Approximately 11 States and the District of Columbia
require courts to consider the child's wishes when making a determination of best interests. In making
this determination, the court will consider whether the child is of an age and level of maturity to
express a reasonable preference.
Often children have mixed feelings. For example, a child might look forward to seeing her father, but be
afraid that he will be angry with her. Some children just try to make one or both parents happy and say
whatever they think a parent wants to hear. Others are unsure of what they think or feel.
For some children, the supervised setting gives them the security and confidence to challenge or test
the visiting parent. There are also children who are afraid of the unfamiliar setting, of seeing a parent,
or of being rejected by a parent. It is common for children to worry about what may happen during or
after the visit. Some children will want to tell you about their experiences visiting, just like they do
when they come home from school or come in from playing. Even though it may be hard to hear, it is
very important to listen. Let them offer what information they choose and try to be supportive and
positive. Some children may not want to talk about at all. This can be difficult, however, be patient!
When your children are ready to talk, they'll let you know.
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