If you and your spouse are facing divorce, the well-being of your child is a priority.

When matters concerning child custody arise, a judge bases decisions on the “best interests of the child.” What does this involve?

A little background

As divorcing parents in the state of Hawaii, you have child custody issues to resolve. One of you might have physical custody of the child and the other legal custody, or you might share joint custody. If you and the other parent cannot agree, however, the judge hearing your case decides on the custody arrangement based on the child’s best interests.

What best interests include

The judge considers a number of factors:

  • The age of the child: Younger children usually need more attentive care. The court may ask an older child his or her opinions.
  • Routines: Children thrive on routine, and courts prefer keeping a routine consistent. If a change is possible due to a circumstance such as relocation of residence, the court will question how that kind of change would impact the child’s routine.
  • Parenting ability: A judge wants to be sure the custodial parent will meet the child’s physical and emotional needs.
  • Safety: A judge will deny custody if it appears the safety of the child is in question.

Next steps

The court wants to know that both you and the other parent will be actively engaged in your child’s life. Show the judge that your child’s best interests are your priority by demonstrating that you are nurturing, loving parents.