Madir v. Daniel

In Madir v. Daniel, 53 V.I. 623, 630 (V.I. 2010), the Court recognized that the "best interests of the child" standard governs custody determinations in the Virgin Islands. Id. at 632. However, the Court also noted that the Legislature has not defined factors that a court must consider when deciding a child's best interests and declined to judicially adopt criteria, stating that the task "is best left to the Legislature." Id. at 634 n.7. Although the Court concluded that the best interests of the child are paramount, we emphasized that it is not this Court's role to define which factors must be considered; rather "our task ... is to ensure that the Family Division of the Superior Court did not abuse its discretion" in its custody determination. Id. at 634. In Madir the Court noted that "the requirement that courts give priority consideration to the 'child's interest over those of the competing adults is premised on the assumption that when a family breaks up, children are usually the most vulnerable and thus most in need of the law's protection.' " 53 V.I. at 632.