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What are the “best interest of the child” factors?

The courts examine a number of factors when determining a child’s best interests, including:

  • The health, safety, and welfare of the child
  • History of abuse (against a child, a parent, cohabitant, or significant other)
  • The nature and amount of contact with both parents. A common consideration is the capacity of each parent to encourage frequent contact between the child and the other parent
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse by either parent