To determine what is in the best interests of the child, a set of factors has been established to guide the courts. These factors are also meant as a way to objectively arrive at these decisions so that they are fairer and more consistent. The standards used by the Alberta Courts are based on the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act, and provide that

  1. The court shall consider, amongst other things, the following relevant factors:
  2. the child’s physical, psychological and emotional needs; including cultural, linguistic and spiritual heritage;
  3. the child’s views and preferences as may be appropriate; the history of care, and the relationship between child and parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  4. any family violence; and
  5. the ability and willingness of the parents to care for/meet the needs of the child, and to communicate an cooperate on issues affecting the child.