Who Determines the Custodial Arrangement

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The processes of determining custodial arrangements are just as important for the child as they are for the parents. Due to the children still being dependent on the parents’ to a certain extent, they will remain dependent on the quality of parenting they receive from the parent throughout their childhood. There is no standard definition of ‘best interest of the child’, this term generally refers to the deliberation that courts undertake when deciding what services, actions, and orders will best suit the child as well as who will best suit the child’s best interest. These interests are generally made by a number of factors related to the child’s circumstances as well as the parent/ caregiver’s circumstances and competency to look after the child. There are many other factors that influence the determination of a child’s best possible caregiver. These “best interest” factors include: • The emotional ties and relationships between the child and his or her parents, siblings, family and household members, or other caregiver. • The capacity of the parents to provide a safe home and adequate food, clothing, and medical care. • The mental and physical health needs of the child. • The mental and physical health of the parents • The presence of domestic violence in the home There are many roles that influence the determination of what the best circumstances will fit the child’s best interest. The family advocate, each parent’s lawyers, social worker and the psychologist.
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