The unanticipated effects of divorce on your children can complicate their lives forever. While it would be ideal for you to keep their lives unchanged while you navigate the complexities of your relationship, this is simply not realistic.
The term “best interests” references the most ideal and “normal” circumstances for your children considering the dissolution of your marriage. Understanding this term can help you make decisions that will provide your children with the support system they need to continue to thrive even with the changes in their family.
Understanding best interests
You and your spouse may disagree on whose home will provide the ideal living conditions for your children. According to The Florida Senate, multiple factors determine the best interests of your child including the following:
- Individual parent-child relationships in your family
- The capability of you and your spouse to provide necessities
- The wishes of your children depending on their ages
- Medical concerns regarding your children
- Mental health concerns regarding your children
- Emotional capacity and parenting abilities of you and your spouse
Preparing for the future
Recognizing that your children need both you and your spouse in their lives can help you feel more willing to share custody. Your children will benefit when you and your spouse develop and honor a consistent custody arrangement. Make it a point to talk with your children and listen to their concerns about the changes in your family. Validate their emotions and make a group effort to identify solutions.
Over time, the best interests of your children may shift depending on their ages and maturation. Working some flexibility into your custody agreement at the very beginning can make modifying it much easier down the road.