Texas child custody disputes tend to center around the best interests of the child(ren) involved. Of course, every child custody matter is limited by the reality of the parents’ work schedules, physical locations, financial means and personal histories. However, Texas family law courts invariably consider these issues and decide the matters in ways that reflect the best solutions for the kids.
In this sense, the parents’ wants and needs always take a back seat to the needs and interests of the children involved.
Factors courts consider when determining a child’s best interests
Here are the factors courts consider when determining a child’s best interests during child custody disputes:
- The wishes of the child if the court determines that he or she is old enough and sufficiently mature to state a preference.
- The current status of each parent’s mental and physical health.
- Any special needs of the child and what each parent does to meet those needs.
- Special cultural or religious considerations.
- How the child can have the most stable home environment.
- Other children involved in the family and the status of their custody.
- How the court can support the child to maintain relationships with extended family members like aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
- Adjustments to the child’s community and school that could be required.
- Other members of the household who regularly interact with the child.
- The gender and age of the child.
- Any history of domestic violence.
- Any evidence of sexual abuse or drug or alcohol abuse on the part of the parents.
- Any evidence that the parents engage in emotional abuse or excessive discipline.
Are you in the throes of a child custody dispute?
Whether you’re seeking sole custody, joint custody or shared 50-50 custody of your child, if you and the other parent cannot agree on the most appropriate child custody arrangements, you will have to let a Texas family law court decide the matter. While you’re navigating the legal proceedings, it’s vital that you show the court how your wishes are in alignment with your child’s best interests. Understanding how the courts render custody decisions can be helpful to your case.