When courts need to make decisions about child custody and visitation, they consider what arrangement will be in the child’s best interests. (They are much more interested in what’s best for the child than they are in the parents’ concerns.) Most judges consider things like whether the current situation is working well for the child (if so, they’re unlikely to change it) and which parent will be most likely to support the child’s relationship with the other parent (a cooperative parent definitely has an advantage in a custody dispute). Beyond these basic things, though, each state has its own rules about what is in the child’s best interests. Click on your state below to find out what your state’s rules are, and look at articles and FAQs for more information.
Best Interests of the Child State-by-State: