- » Determining the Best Interests of the Child
Determining the Best Interests of the Child
Series: State Statutes|
Child Welfare Information Gateway |
|Year Published: 2012|
Current Through November 2012
To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.
(PDF - 379 KB)
This factsheet discusses State laws that present the factors that courts need to consider when making decisions about a child's appropriate custody and care. Factors to be considered include parental capacity to provide adequate care, sibling and other family relationships, and the child's wishes. The factsheet also addresses the definition of best interests and guiding principles of best interest determinations. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Best Interests Definition
Guiding Principles of Best Interests Determinations
Best Interests Factors
Summaries of State Laws
We also recommend the following Information Gateway publications:
Suggested Citation: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Determining the best interests of the child. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau.
This publication is a product of the State Statutes Series prepared by Child Welfare Information Gateway. While every attempt has been made to be complete, additional information on these topics may be in other sections of a State's code as well as agency regulations, case law, and informal practices and procedures.
This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.