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How Texas determines the “best interests of the child”

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2019 | Family law

Before making decisions related to child custody or visitation, Texas courts will almost always consider “the best interests of the child.” At the Law Office of Kate Soulsby, we have a firm understanding of what types of considerations ultimately come into play when assessing a child’s best interests, and we have helped many people involved in child custody or visitation proceedings pursue solutions that address their needs. 

According to the State Bar of Texas, one important element a Texas court may consider when making custody and visitation-related decisions is the child’s own preferences, provided he or she is old enough to voice them. Courts will also typically consider a child’s physical and emotional needs, and whether each parent or other party pursuing custody or visitation has the means and ability to address them, before making any decisions. 

A Texas court may, too, take into account a parent’s ability to provide and maintain a stable home environment for a child before making custody or visitation determinations, considering factors that might include substance abuse, gambling or mental health issues. It may, too, assess just how prepared a parent is overall to have a child maintaining an active presence in his or her life and home. 

As you can imagine, the factors a Texas court will ultimately consider when making child custody or visitation decisions will vary to some extent based on the age of the child at the center of the proceedings. Assessing an infant’s best interests, for example, will involve a different evaluation standard than assessing the best interests of, say, a preteen or teenager. Visit our website for more about child custody and related issues.