Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Delaware

Date: September 2023

Guiding Principles

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 Best Interests Factors

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 722

The court shall determine the legal custody and residential arrangements for a child in accordance with the best interests of the child. In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:

  • The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to their custody and residential arrangements
  • The wishes of the child as to their custodian(s) and residential arrangements
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with their parents, grandparents, siblings, cohabiting persons who are in a spousal relationship with the parent of the child, and any other residents of the household or persons who may significantly affect the child's best interests
  • The child's adjustment to their home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  • Past and present compliance by both parents with their rights and responsibilities to their child
  • Evidence of domestic violence
  • The criminal history of any party or any other resident of the household, including whether the criminal history contains pleas of guilty or no contest or a conviction of a criminal offense

The court shall not presume that one parent, because of their sex, is better qualified than the other parent to act as a joint or sole legal custodian for a child or as the child's primary residential parent, nor shall it consider conduct of a proposed sole or joint custodian or primary residential parent that does not affect their relationship with the child.

Other Considerations

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.