Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law

Factors affecting best interests of children in custody decisions

Couples with children who are going through a divorce in Texas will most likely find that child custody decisions are the most difficult to make. Going from a house always full of children to a house where children are only present half the time can make divorcing couples more emotionally charged and unable to agree on what the best custody arrangement is. When a couple is unable to make this decision, the court steps in and makes the custody award based on the best interests of the children involved.

The best interests of the child means not only their physical and financial needs, but also their emotional and mental needs as well. Judges can either grant sole physical custody to one parent-known as the sole conservator-or joint physical and legal custody to both parents-called a joint conservatorship.

The court can take a number of factors into account when making decisions about the child's best interests. These include: the child's desires, the emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future, the parental abilities of those seeking custody, the stability of the home, and the interactions and interrelationships with other members of the household.

The court, like the parents, hopes to make a decision that ensures the safety and happiness of the children involved. Parents going through a divorce may want to gather enough evidence to support their arguments and help courts make an informed decision. An experienced attorney may be able to help Texas residents going through custody determinations.

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Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law
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Houston, TX 77027

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