What does the law mean by “best interests of the child”?
The “best interests of the child” is a legal test used to decide what would best protect your child’s physical, psychological, and emotional safety, security and well-being. To determine what is in the child’s best interests when making parenting arrangements, you must consider factors including:
- The child’s emotional health and well-being
- The child’s views, unless it would be inappropriate to consider them
- The child’s relationships with parents, guardians, and other important people
- The history of care, and
- The impact of any family violence
When you make an agreement about parenting arrangements after a separation, the law says you must only consider the child’s best interests. And if you go to court, the judge can only consider the child’s best interests in making parenting orders.