The Best Interests of the Kids

How is it determined what is in the best interests of the kids?

This is a term that we throw around a lot in family law. From a legal standpoint, in court, a judge has 11 best interest factors to consider against the facts and circumstances of each case when making decisions about custody or parenting time. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis so the result should apply appropriately to the particular children in question.

Waipio valley lookout on Big Island, Hawaii

Waipio valley lookout on Big Island, Hawaii

From a personal perspective, however, best interests of the children is a very subjective thing.

One parent can think a trip to Hawaii is in the kids’ best interests, while the other parent can insist that weekly church attendance is.

Who’s right?

Parents always need to consider whether what they want for their children is, in fact, FOR their children, or really for themselves.

Parents really need to take many steps back and be able to understand where their self-interest and needs begin and end, and where their kids’ interests and needs begin.

Laughing girl showing thumbs up.Have you developed yourself enough as a parent to be able to see that those are separate? If not, perhaps counseling with a professional or child specialist will help you to understand.

Parenting can be a selfish endeavor. Many parents work out their own issues through their kids or project their own needs onto them.

But if truly focused on their child, then deciding what is in the child’s best interest, in the end, will be an altruistic act with a much more positive impact.

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