When a Texas court must make child custody-related decisions, it is typically going to do so after a judge weighs what he or she considers to be in a child’s best interests. While the factors that ultimately help determine a child’s best interests may vary from one case to the next, most judges take into account similar areas before making final decisions regarding custody.
Just what types of factors might a judge consider when assessing a child’s best interests?
A Texas judge may use a series of what are known as Holley factors to assess what type of living situation might serve a child best. If the child is old enough to offer a personal opinion on where to live, a judge may take his or her wishes into account. A judge may also consider the fundamental needs of a child at the center of custody proceedings as well as the ability of each party seeking custody to meet those needs.
A judge is generally also going to take into account the ability of anyone seeking custody to create and maintain a stable home environment for the child involved in the custody case. A judge may also look at the existing relationships that exist between the child and the parties pursuing custody to get a sense of how active a presence each prospective custodian already has in the child’s life.
While these are some key areas judges often consider when making custody determinations, there are other factors, too, that may come into play during your child custody case.