Child’s best interest = Parent’s best interest.
Look up any website on child custody and you’ll find that the most important consideration is the best interest of the child. Determining what’s in the child’s “best interest” is the answer to virtually every question in the field of child custody.
Sometimes, however, what’s in the child’s best interest equals what’s in the parent’s best interest. If a mother can get a dream job by moving across the country, she may nevertheless still be the best choice for primary custody of the child. The new job may provide the mother with a significant financial boost and other employment benefits such as health insurance and life insurance, all of which will inure to the benefit of the child. The dream job may provide the mother with a renewed sense of self-esteem, independence, and self-sufficiency, attributes that will make her a stronger role model for her child.
Therefore, while arguing a custody case based on the best interest of the child, parents should not hesitate, in appropriate circumstances, to emphasize their own best interests. Letting the court know that a certain move or change in circumstances will serve not only the child’s best interests but also the parent’s best interests is likely to give the court another reason to rule in that parent’s favor.