Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–831.08. Factors to consider in determining best interests of child.

(a) In determining whether custody with a third party, pursuant to this chapter, is in the child’s best interests, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) The child’s need for continuity of care and caretakers, and for timely integration into a stable and permanent home, taking into account the differences in the development and the concept of time of children of different ages;

(2) The physical, mental, and emotional health of all individuals involved to the degree that each affects the welfare of the child, the decisive consideration being the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child;

(3) The quality of the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parent, siblings, relatives, and caretakers, including the third-party complainant or movant; and

(4) To the extent feasible, the child’s opinion of his or her own best interests in the matter.

(b) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that granting custody to a third party who has committed an intrafamily offense is not in the best interest of the child.


(Sept. 20, 2007, D.C. Law 17-21, § 2(b), 54 DCR 6835; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 217(i), 56 DCR 1117.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-831.07.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in the section designation.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2(b) of Safe and Stable Homes for Children and Youth Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-69, July 9, 2007, 54 DCR 6826).