It isn’t always easy to determine what’s in a child’s best interests, but this is exactly what has to happen in a child custody matter. There are several things that are considered in these cases, so thinking about them may help you as you try to work out your child custody plan.

The stability of each parent is one of the top considerations for child custody. The children need a stable home so if one parent has this to offer and the other doesn’t, the child might fare better with the stable parent for the time being. In some cases, this is the parent who remains in the marital home since that’s the residence the kids are accustomed to.

Each parent’s ability to help foster the child’s relationship with the other parent is another consideration. Ideally, parents will keep the issues they have with each other away from the children. It’s important for the child to have a meaningful relationship with each parent unless there’s something like abuse or addiction in the picture that could have a negative impact on the child.

Another factor that can impact the arrangement is the wishes of the children if they’re old enough to relay those wishes. It’s possible that the court won’t consider this; however, if you and your ex are working out an arrangement together, it might be a good point to think about.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a parenting plan that gives your children what they need. This should be based on their needs now since you can seek a modification of the order in the future if necessary.