Best Interests Of Your Child In Custody And Visitation Matters

A woman holds a blackboard with the words "best interest of the child" written on itIn this article, you can discover:

  • How Texas law and the Holly vs. Adams case guide custody decisions based on a child’s well-being.
  • The importance of evidence in demonstrating a parent’s commitment to a child’s needs and development.
  • Key factors considered by the court, including parental abilities, home stability, and the child’s preferences.

How Does The Court Define The Best Interests Of The Child As It Relates To Visitation And Custody Matters?

In the context of visitation and custody matters, the Texas Family Code emphasizes that the child’s best interest is the primary consideration. This involves assessing possession, access, and conservatorship (commonly referred to as custody). The Code outlines specific factors, but the Holly vs. Adams case is often cited for the most commonly considered factors, known as the Holly factors. These include:

  • The child’s desires
  • The child’s current and future emotional and physical needs
  • Potential emotional or physical dangers from a party
  • The parental abilities of those seeking custody
  • Available assistance programs
  • Plans for the child
  • Home stability
  • The appropriateness of the existing parent-child relationship
  • And more…

Proving these factors requires understanding your child’s situation before the case, focusing on who has been fulfilling their needs. This process may be challenging for parents accustomed to unilateral decision-making, as a custody battle involves relinquishing some control to the judge’s discretion.

The decision focuses on the child’s overall circumstances, considering factors such as the environment provided by each parent, their skills, goals, and past care for the child. In Texas, additional factors are also considered, with an overall goal of determining a scenario that serves the child’s best interest, both currently and in the future.

What Evidence Can Be Used To Support The Best Interests Of The Child?

Evidence to support the child’s best interest varies with the child’s age. For infants, it includes who attends to night feedings, doctor appointments, and health-related issues. As the child grows, factors like educational involvement, attending school events, and day-to-day care become relevant. Work schedules, especially if they conflict with childcare, and mental health management are also considered.

Documentation such as attendance records and grades can be pivotal. These records may indicate which parent ensures timely school attendance and involvement in the child’s academic life. Parent-teacher meeting reports can show parental involvement in education. Testimonies from family members or friends can support a custody claim, especially if they provide specific, impactful incidents demonstrating a parent’s prioritization of the child’s needs over their own.

The goal is to present evidence that portrays a parent’s ability to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment, going beyond mere assertions of being a good parent. This evidence aims to convince the court of a parent’s commitment to supporting the child’s dreams and accomplishments in a respectful and nonviolent environment.

For more information on Considering The Best Interests Of Your Child, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 532-5666 today.