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What is the best interests of the child standard?

| Oct 20, 2020 | Child Custody

If you are a parent going through a divorce or conservatorship dispute, you have probably heard the phrase, “the best interests of the child.” This legal standard is the one by which judges in the Lone Star State settle many family-related matters. 

From a layperson’s vantage point, the best interests of any child may seem subjective. In Texas, though, judges consider a few factors to determine what is best for a child. 

The Holley v. Adams factors

The Texas Supreme Court addressed the best interests of the child test in a 1976 case. According to Holley v. Adams, among other factors, the following are relevant: 

  • The wishes of the child 
  • The physical, emotional and mental needs of the child 
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child 
  • The ability of each parent to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent 

While judges use many factors to determine the best interests of the child, most fall within these broad categories. Accordingly, you can use a judge’s approach to settling child-related matters to gauge your legal position. 

Your custody strategy

If you are facing a possible custody battle, you may want to develop a strategy for enhancing your position. That is, you should consider doing what you can to boost your odds of securing the conservatorship of your child you want. 

You may have little control over the actions of your child’s other parent. What you can control is your ability to meet the best interests of your child. Focusing on providing a stable and healthy environment is often critical.