Protecting Your Family's Future
 

How Does the Court Determine the “Best Interests” of the Child?

How Does the Court Determine the Under Texas law, when establishing managing conservatorship (custody) and access (visitation) in family law matters, the court must give priority to the “best interests of the child,” crafting an order that promotes the child’s mental, physical and emotional needs. To accomplish that goal, the court has the discretion to grant sole legal and physical custody to one parent, or to make both parents “joint conservators.” Absent extenuating circumstances, the courts prefer to have both parents actively involved in making decisions about the child’s education, medical treatment, legal concerns and extra-curricular involvement. Furthermore, the courts encourage parents to work cooperatively to make decisions that meet the guidelines, getting involved only when that doesn’t happen.

The court can consider a number of factors when making a determination of what is in a child’s best interests, including:

  • The respective ability of each parent to effectively nurture and raise the child
  • The stability of each parent’s home and lifestyle
  • The child’s particular emotional and physical needs, including any special needs
  • Each parent’s plans for the child
  • The extent to which there has been any domestic abuse or violence by either parent, or any type of improper relationship between the child and a parent
  • The child’s wishes, if the child is at least 12 years of age

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-761-6042 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

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