Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
Get Advice From A Lawyer: 978-744-7774
By Your Side Throughout Your Case
MenuView Our Practice Areas

Understanding the best interests of the child

Parents in Massachusetts may benefit from learning more about the factors that are generally used to determine the best interests of the child, as described by the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Family courts typically preside over cases that can significantly affect children's lives, including issues that involve custody determination and placement, terminating parental rights, permanency planning and safety and living conditions. Every state has laws requiring judges to consider the best interests of the child when making these decisions.

While there is no precise definition, determining the best interests of the child typically involves considering factors associated with the child's and parents' current circumstances. Judges are also expected to evaluate the guardian's capacity to parent the child. The well-being and safety of the child are top priority in these types of cases. Some of the principles that guide these decisions include a preference to avoid removing children from their home and a high value on family integrity.

If the child is to be removed from the home, there must be assurances that the child will still receive guidance, treatment and care that will foster personal development. Family courts in many states value timely permanency decisions. Massachusetts is one of 19 states that prioritizes guidelines focused on the safety, health and protection of the child. Additionally, courts typically consider emotional ties in the parent-child relationship, any history of domestic violence and the mental and physical needs of the parents and child in making these determinations.

Parents who have questions concerning legal custody issues may benefit from consulting a family law lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the situation and help determine the best approach to take that is in the best interests of the child. Some lawyers may act as an intermediary and assist with negotiating more amicable terms to the existing parenting plan.

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway , "Determining the Best Interests of the Child", December 08, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Additional Resources

EmailEmail Us For A Response

Reach Out to A Lawyer

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
70 Washington Street, Suite 402
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-744-7774
Salem Law Office Map

  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Google Plus
  • Twitter

Call Our Family Law Firm 978-744-7774