THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN
Factors the court will consider Courts resolve custody and access applications on the basis of what is in the best interests of the child.
Among other factors, a court will consider
- A child’s physical well-being;
- A child’s emotional well-being and security;
- The applicant’s plan for the child’s education and maintenance;
- The child’s financial needs;
- The child’s religious and ethical upbringing;
- The parent’s understanding of the child’s needs;
- The child’s wishes (this factor increases in importance with the child’s age);
- The benefit of keeping siblings together; and
- The bonding between a child and his caregivers. The application of this test is fact driven and focused on the child’s needs rather than the parents’ rights.