What is the test for original custody of a child?

Nova Scotia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Reeves v. Reeves, 2010 NSCA 35 (CanLII):

In para. 49 of Gordon v. Goertz, supra McLachlin J., as she then was, for the majority, summarized the applicable principles. An original custody determination is informed by the following considerations: 1. The judge must embark on an inquiry into what is in the best interest of the child, having regard to all the relevant circumstances relating to the child's needs and the ability of the respective parents to satisfy them. 2. Each case turns on its own unique circumstances. The only issue is the best interest of the child in the particular circumstances of the case. 3. The focus is on the best interests of the child, not the interests and rights of the parents. 4. The judge should consider, inter alia: (a) the desirability of maximizing contact between the child and both parents; (b) the views of the child, if appropriate; (c) the applicant parent's reasons for moving, only in the exceptional case where it is relevant to that parent's ability to meet the needs of the child; (d) the disruption to the child consequent on removal from family, schools and the community he has come to know. Factors Which Are Relevant Under the Best Interests of the Child Analysis

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