Hopkins Heltzel Law Firm
Call For A Consultation814-299-5496

“Best interests” is key in determining child custody

If you face a divorce, your primary considerations will be the wellbeing of your children and helping them adjust to a new path in life.

In line with those thoughts and the important matter of child custody, the court bases its determinations on the “best interests” of the child.

What it means

Many elements compose a child’s best interests, such as security, mental health, emotional development and, of course, happiness. Both you and the judge hearing your divorce case have these priorities in mind when it comes to matters related to child custody. Remember that any decisions made now affect your children as they grow into adulthood as well as the type of relationship you and the other parent maintain with them throughout your lives.

Important factors

The judge takes sufficient time to consider many factors pertaining to best interests, including:

  •         The wishes of your children, if old enough to express preferences
  •         The physical and mental health of both parents
  •         Your ability to care for the children
  •         Work schedules
  •         The location of the children’s primary residence
  •         Home environment stability
  •         Religious or cultural considerations
  •         Interrelationships with other members of the household
  •         Opportunity for interaction with other family members, such as grandparents
  •         Any history of domestic violence, drug use or abuse
  •         Any special needs a child may have
  •         Any necessary adjustments to school or community

Taking control

You know your children best. Keep in mind that if you and the other parent can work together to devise a suitable child custody plan that incorporates the “best interests” the court would consider, you will not need a judge to make such decisions.

Common outcomes

Take the time to seek legal guidance. In the state of Pennsylvania, for example, the court favors joint custody with one parent having primary physical custody while the other has periods of partial custody. There is also no gender bias in a custody matter; the court gives mothers and fathers equal consideration. It is always about the child's best interests.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Tell Us About Your Case!

Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys bring years of successful litigation and courtroom experience to offer a fresh outlook for all your legal matters. Regardless of the complexity of your situation, our team can provide you with a thorough evaluation of your case and current legal standing. To request additional information regarding our services, please reach out to our offices at your earliest convenience by calling 814-299-5496.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


100 Meadow Lane
Suite 5
DuBois, PA 15801

Phone: 814-299-5496
Fax: 814-375-5035
DuBois Law Office Map

Review Us