Best interest of the child is not what you "think " best interest is!! Best interest is a legal term that is defined by statutes and case law. If you argue things that are not relevant, you may lose your case. Your counsel should cover every element in your states' definition in his exam of you and cross exam of your ex. A sample cross exam andmany useful documents and tactics not available elsewhere are found in the "Guide to fathers Rights" available at: http://www.fathers-rights.com
§ 750 ILCS 5/602. Best Interest of Child (The Illinois statute,typical of many states)
Sec. 602. Best Interest of Child. (a) The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors including:
(1) the wishes of the child's parent or parents as to his custody;
(2) the wishes of the child as to his custodian;
(3) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest;
(4) the child's adjustment to his home, school and community;
(5) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(6) the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
(7) the occurrence of ongoing abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 [750 ILCS 60/103], whether directed against the child or directed against another person; and
(8) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
(b) The court shall not consider conduct of a present or proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship to the child.
(c) Unless the court finds the occurrence of ongoing abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 [750 ILCS 60/103], the court shall presume that the maximum involvement and cooperation of both parents regarding the physical, mental, moral, and emotional well-being of their child is in the best interest of the child. There shall be no presumption in favor of or against joint custody.
This statute's terms are further defined by case law. Consult the Guide to Fathers Rights and local counsel for application to your case facts.
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