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Best Interests of the Child

The “best interests of the child” doctrine remains one of the most acclaimed, disdained, and depended-on standards in family law today. It is considered an integral part of family law because it advocates the best and highest standard; it is disdained by some because it is essentially subjective; and it is depended on because there is nothing better in place. The doctrine affects the placement and disposition of children in cases of divorce, custody, visitation, adoption, the death of a parent, illegitimacy proceedings, abuse proceedings, neglect proceedings, crime, and all forms of child protective services. And in every case, a judge must decide what is “best” for any child at any time under any particular situation, based on the presenting circumstances. Currently, family courts ...

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