When making decisions about child custody and related matters, Texas courts always base those decisions on what is in the best interest of the child. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, best interests is generally defined as what is best for the child's well-being and happiness. The court must follow specific guidelines when determining what the best interest of the child is.
Specifically, the court is looking for the safest environment and the parent who is most equipped and willing to provide such an environment for the child. The court considers the child, thinking about his or her age and any disabilities the child may have. It will look at the relationship between the child and each parent. It will also evaluate the home environment and parenting skills of each parent. Other things are also considered, such as domestic violence, abuse and substance abuse. The court will look at the willingness of each parent to undergo counseling or other services to benefit the child and the home environment.
The court may talk with the child and consider the child's opinions as well. This can help the court get a better idea of who the child feels most comfortable with or aid in uncovering any issues that would affect the child's well-being.
The bottom line is that the court wants the child to be in the best possible place with the parent who can offer the best care. Ideally, the court's job would be made easier if you and your ex-spouse work together to develop custody arrangements and a parenting plan. However, the court will make its own ruling if this does not happen. This information is for education and is not legal advice.