EVERYTHING in family law revolves around the best interests of the child. Whether it is a divorce proceeding, modification of child support, or an adoption; the court’s primary concern is the ultimate safety and well-being of the children who will be impacted. The hope is that by protecting the best interest of the child, the child can grow into a self-sufficient adult.
Section 402 of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act has provided five factors to help determine what is in the Best Interest of Child. Although Section 402 is specifically related to determining custody, the factors can be used in other proceedings as well.
Section 402 of the UMDA states:
The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including:
- The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to his custody;
- The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
- The child’s adjustment to his home, school, and community; and
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.