What Are the Best Interests of the Child?
In Massachusetts, when the courts are trying to determine what to do in terms of issuing a custody order, their standard of review is “best interest of the child.” Certainly, there are a lot of things they look at in terms of consistency and age of the child. You know, if a parent has been a primary parent throughout the course of the marriage, that’s certainly something that they would focus on. But, at the end of the day, making that determination is all about what they think is the healthiest situation for the children.
There are two parts to my job:
- The primary part is obviously to advocate for you and make sure that your concerns related potentially to the other parent’s parenting ability are heard—and they are often very valid concerns.
- The other part is communicating to you—to take yourself as much out of the equation as possible when it comes to the kids.
The divorces I see go smoothly and wonderfully for the children and have the least amount of impact on the kids are the ones where both parents—maybe they hate each other, maybe someone cheated, maybe they’re just not going to let this go for a while—but, at the end of the day, they make decisions related to the custody and the visitation. It has to do with what they think is going to make their child healthy and happy and safe.