In Arizona child custody cases, you are likely to hear the judge mention the best interest of the child. As a parent, you may assume automatically that you have a child’s best interests in mind. If you think that the phrasing is unclear, it is. Courts can interpret best interest differently. Sometimes, experts may even disagree on what a child’s best interests are.

Psychology Today focuses on the best interests involving basic needs. The needs of a child include healthy home conditions conducive of growth and integrity. A parent has to meet basic needs and social responsibilities to the child. Often, when parents are in the middle of a divorce, they may not address their child’s psychological needs first. They may become more insensitive. Parents have a difficult time adjusting and this can affect the child.

The best interest of the child is to be as responsible as the child needs you to be. Children’s needs may be more advanced during a divorce. You do not want to undermine your child or react with hostility to any of his or her needs. Do not base your child’s best interests on your capacity to meet his or her needs. You need to base the best interest on his or her needs, period.

It is better to look at a child’s needs objectively, rather than defining needs from a parental point of view. In an uncertain situation, children need reassurance and the maintenance of the relationship with their parents.

The above information is to explain what the best interest of a child might be. It is not legal advice.