What Are the "Best Interests of a Child?"

For many couples going through with a divorce, child custody is one of the most prioritized and concerning issues. Both spouses want to ensure that their role as a parent is preserved following their divorce and that their children will be provided with all they need to grow and thrive. In Texas courts, a judge will determine custody by considering the "best interests of a child."

Many clients generally understand the concept of "best interests," but few realize just how complex this matter can be. There are numerous, specific family details a judge will look at in these cases to inform his or her decision. These are sometimes known as "the Holley factors" due to their prevalence following a case known as Holley v. Adams.

Factors used to determine the best interests of a child include:

  • What are the child's emotional needs?
  • What is the general fitness of each spouse as a parent?
  • What are each parent's plans for the child?
  • Has either parent omitted information to protect their reputation as a parent?
  • How stable is the environment each parent provides?
  • What dangers (if any) does each parent pose to the child?
  • Who does the child want to live with?
  • Which parent usually provides the child's meals?
  • Which parent puts the child to bed and prepares them in the morning?
  • How cooperative can the parents be on medical decisions for the child?
  • How involved is each parent with the child's school and education?
  • Has one parent already tried to turn the child against the other parent?
  • What is the family's access to supportive family programs?

In most cases, no one, single factor will decide child custody. The point of these Holley factors is to give the judge a comprehensive look at the family's situation and proceed with a decision that will best foster a healthy and vibrant upbringing of the child.

If you are facing a divorce and are concerned about child custody, then the dedicated Sugar Land family law attorney at Audu Law Firm is ready to hear from you. Attorney Lilian Audu has committed her firm to providing compassionate and thorough family law and divorce counsel for individuals, couples, and entire families in need. Her communicative, client-centric approach means clients can rest assured that their counsel will proceed in a way that speaks to their every concern.

You do not have to face this difficult time without a dedicated advocate. Contact the Audu Law Firm today for an initial case evaluation.