Zachary A. VanDyke, PA
Panama City Attorney
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Why courts focus on the best interests of the child

It is not uncommon while going through divorce proceedings involving children to hear the courts talk about the best interests of the children. While the philosophy of course sounds noble, it is inherently vague. What exactly is meant by the "best interests of the child" and how can this philosophy in court affect decisions such as child custody, child support and even property division?

The courts look at each case individually. The current relationship between each child and each parent and how the different roles of each parent is represented in that relationship is of vital importance to the courts when they look at each situation before making their decision. The courts will also look to see if any history of domestic violence or a criminal record exists on either side, or even if one parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

The courts will also consider the situation of the children and how the divorce will affect them. This includes the current children's schooling, whether they have any special needs such as medical needs or educational needs, and what needs to be done to maintain a stable environment with changes kept to a minimum.

If you are going to go through a divorce in the near future with children involved, you may want to speak with a law firm familiar with divorce and family law to help you along the way in order to protect your best wishes and the best interests of the children. Many important decisions will be made including child custody and child support, and have a strong representation in the courts could make all the difference in the world in your future and the future of your children.

Source:, "Focusing on the 'Best Interests' of the Child," Accessed July 3, 2017

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Zachary A. Vandyke, P.A.
502 Harmon Ave
Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-851-0864
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