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What determines the best interests of a child?

The sad part of many divorces is that the best interests of children sometimes fade into the shadow of their feuding parents. When that happens, a Texas judge often has to compose a divorce judgment that offers the child the best chance at a good life. According to the Huffington Post, a judge may consider a child’s best interests in a number of ways.

Basically, the best interest of a child will be determined by the particular facts of each case. However, there are common factors a judge will examine. One variable is how much money a spouse earns. However, this does not actually mean the parent with the most money will hold an advantage, as factors such as cash flow and job security may be taken into account as well. A spouse’s ability to house and provide for a child will also be considered.

Other factors may include:

  • The physical and mental health of a parent
  • Any history of domestic violence in the child's home
  • A parent’s current emotional state
  • A child’s present contact status with a parent

Additionally, if a child is of an appropriate age and shows maturity, a judge may consider what the child personally wants in terms of a living arrangement with his or her parents. A court will also look at a child’s specific needs. This can include schooling and health considerations.

It should be noted this is not a comprehensive list of what a judge may consider. In general, any variable that contributes to an informed judgment on a child’s best interests will be considered by a court.

This article is meant to educate on the topic of children and divorce and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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