Serving Indiana Since 1994

How judges determine the best interests of the child

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2021 | Child Custody & Parenting Time

It is not always easy for parents in Indiana to raise their children. There are many decisions that need to be made and many of them are not what the children may want to hear. This usually requires a unified effort between the parents and can be difficult if the parents have different ideas of what should occur or what is the best decision for the child. They may be able to compromise of issues though for the sake of the children. Not all parents are able to compromise though and it can lead to fights and difficulties for the children.

The decisions still need to be made though, which can be particularly difficult if the parents are divorced and lack the motivation to reach compromises any longer. If parents demonstrate they cannot work together, a judge will ultimately need to grant one of the parents sole custody of the children.

Factors to determine the best interests of children

A number of factors are analyzed to determine what is in the best interests of the children.

  • The age of the children
  • The wishes of the children, especially when the children are over 14 years old.
  • The child’s relationships with each parent, their siblings and others such as extended family who have significant relationships with the children.
  • The wishes of the parents
  • The child’s attachment to their schools, community and homes
  • The mental health of the parents and the children.
  • Whether there has been any domestic abuse
  • Other relevant factors to determine the best interests.

These are very fact-specific cases and depend on the unique circumstances of each family. There is also no presumption that either parent should be granted sole custody of the children. As these are very complicated and emotional decisions, it may be helpful to consult with experienced attorneys who can guide people through the process.