Who decides on Passaic County Child’s Best Interest?

Family Law NJ Attorneys explain how the law looks at “a child’s best interests” serving Passaic County, Woodland Park, Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, West Milford, Paterson

As a rule, decisions about adoption, child custody or any issue that affects a child’s welfare are made by determining through the lens of the “best interests of the child”.  In this article, let’s understand what a child’s “best interests” really means.

Deciding a child's best interests
What’s best for me?

Who decides what the “best interests” are for a child in Woodland Park

Essentially, the court decides, but it can help to know how it’s decided.  Essentially, a judge will determine the parenting arrangement or any other child-relevant decisions by focusing on what is most beneficial for a child over both the short- and long-term.

A judge does this according to his/her perspective of the issues at hand while keeping a variety of long-term factors foremost. In the context of child custody cases, judges are skilled in making decisions with the ultimate goal of inspiring and encouraging the child’s happiness, security, mental health, and emotional development into young adulthood. This is particularly relevant to custody and visitation arrangements.

Some factors Passaic County judges consider in deciding the “best interests” of a child

These life-influencing decisions are determined by considering a variety of factors. In New Jersey, judges take into consideration any combination of the following fourteen factors as may be relevant to a case:

  • The parents’ capacities to be able cooperate, communicate, co-parent and agree about issues in regard to the child.
  • The parents’ readiness to accept custody and any history of refusal to allow the other party to have parenting time not based on corroborated abuse.
  • The dealings and relationship between the parent, child, and siblings.

    Who decides child's best interest and how
    How does a judge decide a child’s best interest?
  • The history of Domestic Violence.
  • The safety of the parent and the safety of the child from any abuse by the other parent.
  • The child’s preference when they are of appropriate capability and age to form an intelligent choice.
  • The needs of the child.
  • The stability of each party’s home environment.
  • The quality and continuity of a child’s education.
  • Each parent’s fitness.
  • How close each parent lives from each other.
  • The quality of time each parent spent with the child before separation.
  • Each parent’s employment responsibilities.
  • The number and age of children.


Child's life depends on child's best interests decisions
Deciding a child’s best interests

Frequently, parents have very different and strong views about what is truly best for their children.  When this happens it creates very challenging situations for not only each parent but for the children, as well.  In spite of the fact you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have been caring for these children all of their lives, the court will step in to help you during this highly emotional divorce time.

So, even though you absolutely know the “bests interests” of your child, if you and the other parent are not in agreement, then the court will have the final say. By working with an experienced attorney who is dedicated to your family’s best outcome you will be able to both communicate your concerns about your child(ren)’s well-being and work within the constraints of the court system.

Your family law attorney at The Montanari Law Group will help you to get the child custody decisions you want.

Our family law team is dedicated to understanding not only the best interests of your child but for your new family structure post-divorce.  Contact the Passaic County divorce attorneys at The Montanari Law Group at 973-233-4396 for a cost-free consultation.  With offices in Woodland Park, Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, West Milford, Paterson, New Jersey our lawyers have extensive experience representing clients who are involved in any kind of child custody issue, including divorce, custody modification, child support or visitation arrangements.

We will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Contact our office to make an appointment for a free consultation.973-233-4396


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.