In nearly every court where child custody is an issue or where a child’s welfare is being considered, a judge will use the standard of “best interests of the child” in crafting an order. Generally speaking, this means that the court will consider the child’s well-being as paramount over the interests of the parents.
Child custody is the typical subject where the ‘best interests of the child” standard is used. Some states, like Massachusetts, do not list specific factors that a court must consider in cases where the parents cannot decide on custody matters, while others like New Hampshire will list at least some. But even though Massachusetts is not specific so as to give the judge more discretion in interpreting the standard, a Massachusetts family court is not much different from its counterpart in New Hampshire when deciding what is in the child’s best interests.