Home 9 Custody 9 How a court decides a child’s best interest

Texas physical custody cases often wind up hinging about the child’s best interest, which is a legal term that carries a lot of weight. The child’s best interests could be widely varied, but the court generally boils it down to three elements. Those are the child’s physical and emotional needs and security versus a parent’s ability to provide them. A lot of that ability arises from the apparent stability the child would experience in a parent’s home.

Child’s emotional and physical needs

A child custody case will weigh the need for food, lodging, education and emotional support inside the home for each child. One parent might be better capable of providing food and lodging while the other might have much better income but is away for work much of the time. An obvious solution would be to grant custody to the parent staying at home with child support coming from the parent who works and is away often. The child’s desires have an impact for obvious reasons. If the child has an especially close relationship with one parent and wants to live with that parent, the court would take that into consideration.

Child’s emotional and physical safety

The court also will weigh the type of home and general lifestyle within it. If one parent has a lot of shady friends and likes to party a lot while the other is more responsible and will provide a more stable home environment, that could affect a custody ruling. One or both parents should be able to provide a stable home environment that will be relatively free of bad influences and situations that might be potentially harmful for the child.

Parental ability

A parent must be able and willing to provide a good and loving home. That means the child will have good food, good shelter, good clothing and go to school. The parent also must have the mental and physical capability to raise and guide a child into adulthood. An experienced Texas family law attorney can help to build a strong case when you are seeking physical custody.

Contact Us