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What does the court think about when deciding what is in the best interest of the child?

While courts have broad discretion in determining what is in the child’s “best interest,” judges look at the following factors from the Texas Supreme Court case, Holley v. Adams, as a guide in family law cases like custody, visitation, and support.

  1. the desires of the child;
  2. the emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future;
  3. the emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future;
  4. the parental abilities of the individual seeking custody;
  5. the programs available to assist the individuals to promote the best interest of the child;
  6. the plans for the child made by the individual seeking custody or the agency;
  7. the stability of the home or proposed placement;
  8. the acts or omissions of the parent that indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and
  9. any excuse for the parent’s acts or omissions.

Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 371–72 (Texas 1976). 

Talk to a lawyer for help understanding these factors.