The best interest of the child is the standard for custody determination under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (MDMA) and the Parentage Act. The emphasis in a custody determination is not on which parent is better, but on the child’s best interests considering all relevant factors, including but not limited to:
- The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to his custody;
- The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
- 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;
- The child’s adjustment to his home, school and community;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
- The physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child’s potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
- The occurrence of ongoing abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
No one factor is dispositive; each factor must be weighed and considered in its relationship to all of the others shown to exist.
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