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Poet Law | Jeremy J. Poet Law Firm, PLLC
Poet Law | Jeremy J. Poet Law Firm, PLLC

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Call for a free consultation with an attorney  903-357-5269

Address these best interest factors in your child custody case

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Firm News

When you’re forced to litigate a child custody issue, the court will render a decision that it believes to be in the child’s best interest. That’s a nebulous phrase that’s difficult to get a handle on, which can leave you spinning in circles as you try to figure out the best way to lay out your arguments.

Fortunately, state law and case law provide guidance on the issue. So, let’s take a closer look at the factors the court will consider when deciding your child custody case.

Texas’s child custody best interest standard

Pursuant to Texas law, there are several factors that the court can take into consideration when deciding child custody and visitation. This includes:

  • The child’s wishes: Where your child wants to stay is an important consideration. However, the court is going to give this opinion the amount of weight it deems appropriate in light of the evidence presented and the age of the child, so don’t expect to hang your hat on this factor.
  • The child’s physical and emotional needs: Your child has specific needs, and the court wants to ensure that they’re met. Therefore, the court will assess your child’s physical, mental, and emotional condition and consider which parent is best suited to meet the child’s needs.
  • Each parent’s stability: Stability is key to a child’s sense of security and development. As a result, the court will give considerable weight to the parents’ stability. While that includes financial health, it can also include issues like substance abuse.
  • The division of parental responsibilities: If one parent did most of the child rearing during your marriage, then they’re going to be at an advantage in seeking custody unless there’s other evidence that can be used to demonstrate their shortcomings as a parent.
  • The type of parent-child relationship in existence: Far too many parents treat their children like friends. When this happens, your child’s safety, health, and development can be put at risk. That’s why the court will consider the relationship that each parent has with the child to determine if one is more appropriate than the other.
  • The existence of domestic violence: Children deserve to be safe in their homes. When they’re exposed to domestic violence, they’re at an increased risk of being physically injured or suffering mental trauma from witnessing abuse. Your child deserves to be protected from these potential outcomes, which is why this factor can be persuasive in a child custody case.
  • The physical and mental health of the parents: Your child needs to be with someone who can meet their basic needs. If one parent suffers from a physical or mental condition that makes it challenging for them to care for the child, then they probably shouldn’t be awarded sole physical custody.
  • Each parent’s willingness to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent: Parental alienation is real and can cause extensive damage to your child and your relationship with them. To prevent this, the court will analyze evidence that shows how each parent is willing to facilitate communication between the child and the other parent.

Craft the compelling child custody arguments you need on your side

Your child’s safety, health and well-being are on the line when a child custody dispute arises. To protect them, you need persuasive arguments that speak to the best interest factors mentioned above. Keep in mind, too, that the court has wide latitude to consider other factors that it deems relevant to its determination. So, as you build your legal strategy, be as comprehensive as possible to capture every favorable argument you can.