Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Puerto Rico

Date: September 2023

Guiding Principles

Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 1, § 421 

The public policy of the Government of Puerto Rico seeks to uphold and guarantee the rights of children and the respect of their dignity. By so providing, the government must consider the variable degree of vulnerability to which children are subject during their process of development and socialization until they attain full legal standing and the State's responsibility to provide the means and resources needed to safeguard their interests and advance their welfare.

All measures concerning children as well as all interventions of the State involving the powers and authority germane to patria potestas or guardianship shall have as their guiding principle the protection of the family as an institution and the best interests and welfare of children, taking into consideration the degree of development of their capabilities, and free from any discrimination motivated by origin, race, color, birth, political or religious beliefs, disabilities, sex, socioeconomic or cultural status of the children, or for any other personal consideration. The State recognizes that the parents or guardians are primarily responsible for the control, supervision, and guidance of their children.

 Best Interests Factors

Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 8, § 1101(x)

The term 'best interests of the child' means the balance of different factors that may affect the safety; health; physical, mental, emotional, educational, and social well-being; or any other factor aimed at achieving the optimum development of the minor.

Other Considerations

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.