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Child’s Best Interest

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2019 | Child Support

I keep hearing that Carlsbad child custody orders are based upon whatever the Court determines is in our child’s best interest or the best interest of the children.  What does that mean?  Is the term Child’s best interest defined somewhere?

There is no statutory definition of “best interest of the child.”  Cal. Rules of Court, rule 5.2 (b)(7) defines “best interest of the child” as being described in Fam. Code §3011.  Curiously, that statute does not contain a definition, only a list of factors to be considered, such as domestic violence.

Although long repealed, Cal. Rules of Court, Appendix, sec. 26 is an attempt at providing a working definition.  This now repealed section provided: “The ‘best interest of the child’ is a broad concept that involves the following principles: (i) promoting social, cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being; (ii) enabling optimal development as a productive member of our society; (iii) minimizing exposure to danger, abuse, neglect, and family conflict; and (iv) ensuring frequent and continuing contact with both parties so far as it is consistent with the above….” (Former Cal. Rules of Court, Appendix, sec. 26 (f).)

Family Code Section 3011 lists the following factors for the court to consider:
(a) The health, safety, and welfare of the child.
(b) Any history of abuse by one parent or any other person seeking custody against any of the following:
(c) The nature and amount of contact with both parents, except as provided in Section 3046.
(d) The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances, the habitual or continual abuse of alcohol, or the habitual or continual abuse of prescribed controlled substances by either parent.
(e) Criminal activity

After decades of experience in Carlsbad Family Law Courts we can tell you all Judges and Magistrates are clearly focused upon the child’s best interest when it comes to child custody and parenting time matters.  Are you concerned about child custody heading into a divorce?  Are you seeking modifications of existing child custody orders?  We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and the legal industry and contact Burke & Domercq or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment.