Child support and a child's best interests go hand in hand. Today, child support decisions focus on a judge's interpretation of the child's best interests and financial information of both parents. It is often frightening for parents to think that someone who knows very little about them (in the form of a judge) now has the power to decide an important part of their future and that of their children. However, while the system may not be perfect, its existence is still designed for the protection of young children.
What is a child's best interest?
Divorce has a significant impact on children. For the parents, child custody often turns into a battle, especially if both parties cannot seem to come to an amicable agreement. Since a child is not an asset like a house or a car, a judge cannot just decide to split any interests of the child as they do on possessions. The child's best interests instead determine every decision made in court.
According to Maryland's child support regulations, a child's best interest entails a situation that fosters a child's safety, happiness, and growth into a mature adult. The court believes that a child benefits if he or she has a consistent relationship with both parents.
The main challenge, however, in resolving disputes in a child custody case involve maintaining a situation where the child has a relationship with both parents. In whatever decision is made, the ultimate goal is that the child would be happy, feels secure, remains mentally healthy, and develops emotionally and physically into a mature young adult.
Despite the fact that divorce in itself is a disruption, a child's best interests include no further disruptions in their life. This means that in determining the child's custody, the court chooses an option that will not entail disrupting a child's school activities and other extracurricular activities. Children should be allowed to go to school on Monday and have their soccer practice as usual. After all, having a long journey to the other parent's home on Friday and going back to school on Monday physically and emotionally disturbs a child.
The bottom line is the best interests of the child entail all the conditions that would foster mental and physical development. Divorce in itself is a daunting experience to the life of a child. The court, therefore, focuses on preventing further disruption and distressing experiences to the child.
Finalizing a divorce where children are involved has the potential to end up in a nasty dispute. Here at the Tyra Law Firm, we have a team of highly experienced attorneys who can help you and your partner maintain your children's best interests during this process. Call us now at (301) 315-0811.