Something you may her a lot about when learning about child custody and how the court deals with these issues is the best interest of the child. Best interests can mean a lot of things. It is a rather abstract term that each judge may look at in a different way. However, there is a basic definition and general factors that are commonly accepted by courts to be the best interest of a child. 

The Child Welfare Information Gateway explains best interest is a sticking point for courts in every custody matter because it means that the decision will be what will keep the child safe and provide the child with a secure home life. It also means a court will not give weight to what matters the most to parents over what matters the most to the children. When making a custody decision, the court will always focus on the children. 

One factors the court looks at to determine best interest is the stability of the home. It will check into any past abuse issues or allegations, including domestic violence issues. The court will also check you and the other parent out to see if you are mentally, physically and financially stable. The court wants to know that the parent who gets physical custody will be capable of caring for the child and providing him or her a loving home. 

The court also considers the relationship the child has with you and the other parent. It is sometimes clear that a child has a stronger relationship with one parent, so taking the child from that parent could be quite harmful to the child unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The court’s ultimate goal is to put the child where he or she will be the happiest and have the best chances of staying safe and healthy.