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Children's issues: What does best interests really mean?

It can be a particularly difficult time for kids when they learn that their parents are divorcing. When it comes to children's issues in British Columbia, family court judges will always make decisions that take into account what is in the best interests of the children involved. But, what does that really mean? It might help parents to get some clarification.

In British Columbia, the best interests of the child is used as a guideline in court to protect a child's welfare -- physical, emotional and psychological. It also serves as a yardstick for a child's security, safety and well-being. Parents need to keep a few things in mind when they are considering what is in their children's best interests. Realizing that the courts will use the same measurements may help parents to do what's best for their kids.

In making decisions for their kids, parents have to think about how those decisions will impact their children's overall well-being -- including their emotional health. Older children have voices that should be heard, unless it is inappropriate to let them do so. As well, children should have positive relationships not only with their parents, but with others who are important in their lives like grandparents and other family members. Family court judges will also look at whether there is a history of violence in the family setting and whether the children have been protected and cared for properly.

A family law lawyer who is experienced in children's issues in British Columbia may be able to help a client to do what's best for his or her children. Separation and divorce may cloud the judgment of parents at times and it is important to get legal counsel to make sure parents are doing right by their kids. A compassionate lawyer may be able to offer support and guidance from a legal perspective.    

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