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What Does “The Best Interests of a Child” Mean?

The Most Important Phrase in Custody Cases

Decisions in child custody cases are ultimately based on the outcome that serves the best interests of the child in question. However, what exactly does this phrase mean, and why is it so important? Here is what you should know.

General Definition

Conservatorship decisions based on a child’s best interests mean that all decisions focus on ensuring that a child can grow in a happy and secure environment that prioritizes mental and emotional health. This phrase has become the standard to meet in custody decisions across the country, not just in Texas.

The decisions made during a custody case can impact your child’s development both immediately and long-term. Because of this, it is important that each decision has your child’s best interests at heart.

Factors Involved in the Decision

While the above definition is rather broad, there are several factors that can help determine what custody decision would be best for a child. These factors include the following:

  • The ability of each parent to effectively care for the child’s basic needs, such as food and shelter.

  • The level of involvement each parent has in the child’s development.

  • The ability of each parent to provide stability for the child.

  • The overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the child.

  • The overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being of each parent.

  • The child’s need for a healthy relationship with each parent.

  • The current age and development of the child.

  • If old enough to express a reasonable preference, the desires of the child.

  • Any current or future presence of a potential danger to the child, either physically or emotionally.

  • The presence of outside support for each parent.

  • The plans made for the child by each parent.

While not a perfect formula, the use of these factors in a custody case often works to meet a child’s best interests.

Do You Need Help With Your Custody Case?

Custody cases can be draining and incredibly challenging. It’s important that you seek the help of a custody attorney who can relieve some of the stress you are feeling. At Verner Brumley Mueller Parker, we know how you might be feeling about your current situation, which is why we want to help.

To schedule a consultation, call us at (214) 225-6766 or visit us online.