When parents divorce, they typically do not have the option to simply walk away from each other and be done with it. A child is a bond that never breaks, and an obligation that should not end. So important is maintaining the welfare of a child after a divorce that British Columbia family law dictates the best interests of the child must be addressed first. It is important to understand what that means.
Any decisions regarding the care of a child or children after a divorce are made based on what will best protect the child’s psychological, emotional and physical security, safety and well-being. This holds true for parents making their own parenting arrangements, just as it does for a judge in courtroom. All other considerations are secondary.
Factors parents should consider when making co-parenting plans include the emotional health and well-being of their child and how best to support that. Who has historically been the primary caregiver for the child is also an important factor, as well as the child’s relationships with family members and other people who play important roles in the child’s life. If the child is capable of offering a reasonable opinion, that could also be a factor.
All of the above considerations together form the definition of the ‘best interests of the child.’ Every parent should strive at all times to make those interests their priority, and never more so than during a divorce. A lawyer who deals with British Columbia family law on a regular basis will be prepared to help any man or woman through the sensitive process of establishing a future for his or her child after a divorce.
Source: gov.bc.ca, “What does the law mean by ‘best interests of the child’?“, Accessed on April 16, 2017