Anytime a New York court case involves the well-being of a child, you can count on that court taking into account what might be in the child’s best interests before making any final decisions. At Penichet & Alberga, LLP, we are highly familiar with the different factors a court may review while assessing a child’s best interests, and we have helped many clients navigating complicated visitation or child custody issues pursue solutions that fit their needs.

According to the New York State Unified Court System, there is, regrettably, no set standard for judges to use when evaluating the “best interests of a child.” There are, however, certain elements a judge will typically consider before making decisions, and the overarching goal of such proceedings is typically to make the best decision for a child’s health and safety.

Elements a judge will commonly consider when making child custody or visitation-related rulings include the existing relationships that exist between each parent and the child up until this point. For example, if one parent was primarily responsible for all child-rearing efforts, that parent may have a better chance at getting custody over the child in question, although numerous other considerations may, too, come into play.

When assessing a child’s best interests, New York judges will typically also consider the mental and physical health of each parent, the work schedules and childcare arrangements of each parent, and whether the child has existing relationships with other siblings within the family. A child’s own wishes, too, may factor in, depending on his or her age, and the court may also examine the likelihood of the parents to cooperate with one another and encourage the child to maintain relationships with both parties. Find more about this topic on our webpage.