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Best Interests of the Child
When determining custody, residency and access according to section 24 of the Children’s Law Reform Act and section 16(8) of the Divorce Act, the test is what is in the best interests of the child?
The best interests of the child test is focused on the child’s needs as opposed to the parents’ rights.
The following is a list of some of the factors that are used to determine what is, in fact, in the best interests of the child:
- A child’s physical well being;
- The bond between a child and his or her caregivers;
- The child’s physical, financial and emotional needs;
- The parent’s ability to care for the child;
- The child’s culture, language and religion;
- The benefit of keeping siblings together; and,
- The child’s views (The older the child, the more weight will be given to his or her desires.)