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What is the Best Interest of a Child Standard?

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The Ultimate Determining Factor

When a couple files for divorce, one of the most important decisions they have to make is who will get child custody. In Texas, the best interest of a child is the standard that is used to determine child custody cases. What does this mean? What factors are considered when examining what is in a child's best interest? In this blog post, we will explore these questions and more!

Defining the Standard

The best interest of a child standard is the legal basis upon which courts in Texas make decisions regarding child custody. This standard requires that custody decisions be made to best serve the child's physical, psychological, and emotional needs.

In determining what is in the best interest of a child, the court will consider a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:

  • The child's age

  • The child's physical and mental health

  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child's needs

  • The stability of each home environment

  • Each parent's work schedule

  • The proximity of each parent's home to school and other important places in the child's life

  • The child’s preference - if the child is of sufficient age and maturity to express a preference

  • Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent

  • The criminal history of each parent.

Note that the best interest of a child standard is not intended to be a checklist. Rather, it is meant to provide guidance to courts in making custody decisions. In other words, no one factor will be determinative in all cases; rather, the court will consider all relevant factors in order to make a custody determination that best serves the child's needs.

Ask Questions of Your Attorney

If you are involved in a child custody case, it is important to discuss these factors with your family law attorney so that you can receive the best guidance possible and learn how to navigate the legal matters before you. At Burrows Law Group, we know how sensitive child custody matters can be, which is why we work tirelessly to meet your needs and the needs of your child.

Learn more about child custody matters in Texas or schedule a consultation by calling us at (972) 236-7798 or by visiting us online.