When the term “best interests” is used in legal documentation, it does not necessarily refer to a standardized manner of procurement or behavior. “Best interests” refers to a situation that ensures that the rights and welfare of the individual subject to the term are respected and promoted. This term is commonly found in cases involving custody rights wherein the best interests of the child are the deciding factor.
“Best interests” is usually the factor that decides custody, legal guardianship, and other situations that involve a party whose rights and welfare must be ensured. Since there is no exact, standard definition for the term “best interests”, every imaginable aspect must be considered in determining whether a situation may be in the best interests of an individual. This may entail investigation of the individual’s physical, psychological, emotional, social, and educational needs. This investigation may also extend to those who are involved in the individual’s life. In the case of a child custody hearing, a mother and father seeking their own respective custody will be evaluated and reviewed with regards to how they live their life, their parenting styles, how they can provide for their child, the environment in which they live, their history with the child, and other issues that directly relate to the needs and desires of the child. It is also possible for the court to solicit the opinion of the child if the he or she proves to be old and mature enough to understand his or her situation.