In the context of child custody cases, focusing on the child’s best interests in Kenya is the ultimate goal that all entities should strive achieve; this means that in all custody, discussions and decisions are made with the goal of fostering and encouraging the child’s happiness, security, mental health and emotional development. Generally it’s often in the best interest of the child to maintain a close and loving relationship with both parents. However, the aspect of promoting and maintain such relationships can be the main challenge in resolving a child custody dispute.
What is the best interest of the child principle?
The term “Best interests of the child” refers to the consideration in all actions concerning children that focuses towards their essential needs, their growth and development and achievement to their capabilities to the maximum extent possible. Whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, all are required to ensure the best interests of the child standard.
Best interest of the child checklist
To achieve this standard several factors are usually considered by the decision making authority. Such factors include but not limited to:
- the wishes of the child; if the child is old enough to capably express a reasonable preference;
- the mental and physical health of the parents;
- any special needs a child may have and how each parent takes care of those needs;
- religious and/or cultural considerations;
- the need for continuation of a stable home environment, support and opportunity for interaction with members of the extended family of either parent such as grandparents;
- interactions and interrelationship with other members of household, adjustments to school and community;
- the age and sex of the child;
- the existence of a pattern of domestic violence in the home, parental use of excessive discipline or emotional abuse; and
- evidence of parental drug, alcohol or child abuse.
It worth noting that best interest of a child determinations are generally made after considering a number of factors related to the child’s circumstances and the parent or caregiver’s circumstances and capacity to parent, with the child’s ultimate safety and happiness being the paramount concern.
Best evidence for child custody
Finally, to show that you have your child’s best interests of a child at heart; show that you have been actively involved in his or her life and have provided attentive and loving care.this is the best evidence for a child’s custody. For instance, this can be demonstrated by showing that you have enrolled your child in school, you are involved in his or her education and upbringing, you have participated in extracurricular activities and have made other parenting decisions demonstrating an interest in nurturing your child. Mostly. that’s how does a child determines the best interest of a child custody in Kenya. If you wish to adopt a child, read more on Child adoption procedure and requirements in Kenya.
By Andrew Wanga