Child's Best Interest Standard in Texas
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What Is the "Child's Best Interest" Standard?
In family law, the “child’s best interest” refers to the standard that courts will reference when determining visitation schedules or child custody arrangements. In general, courts will consider a variety of factors that all take into account the child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs.
The child’s best interests will almost always take priority over the parent’s desires.
How Do Courts in Texas Determine the Child’s Best Interest?
In Texas, there is no set definition of the “child’s best interest.” While the vagueness of the definition may seem frustrating, it is left open ended in order to allow judges to make more specific decisions to unique circumstances on a case-by-base basis.
Some factors include:
- The emotional needs of the child
- The physical needs of the child
- The ability of each parent to raise the child
- The parent’s plan for raising the child
- The stability of each home
Are There Other Considerations?
- Child’s Preference - In some states, such as California, there is no set age for when a child can have a say in their custody decision. In Texas, a 10-year-old child may write the court, and subject to the court’s approval, asking for their choice of conservator.
- Current or Past Abuse - Due to the court’s overriding concerns for the health and safety of the child, judges will often consider harm or abuse to the child, as well as any past domestic violence.
Seeking Legal Help
If you are dealing with issues related to child custody or visitation rights, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney in Texas. Even in a simple child custody case, the court will have many deadlines for filing important documents. Your attorney can handle the paperwork and provide you with important information and legal guidance.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 08-13-2014 02:46 PM PDT
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