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Divorce can be a difficult thing to go through for so many different reasons. The uncertainty of the process in and of itself can be a great source of anxiety. This can be especially true for those divorcing with children. Child custody is, of course, a big issue in divorce proceedings and goes to the very core of a person’s life and family. Should divorcing spouses be unable to reach an agreement regarding child custody arrangements, it will be up to the court to determine such an arrangement and it will be guided in this determination by the best interests of the child standard.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard

How does a court determine what custody arrangement will be in the best interest of the child? This is accomplished by the weighing of a variety of relevant factors. Many of the factors try to account for the emotional and physical needs of the child based on the age and development of the child both in the present and tin the future. Each parent’s ability to meet these specific needs of the child will be critical in determining a satisfactory custody arrangement. Proof of the parents’ abilities to both recognize and address the ever changing and developing needs of the child will be reviewed by the court.

More specific factors to be considered in whether a parent can meet the emotional and physical needs of a child include:

  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • The programs and resources available to the parents that will help them promote the best interests of the child
  • The existing parent-child relationship
  • The stability of the home of each parent

The stability of the home of a parent and of the parent himself or herself is also of key importance in the best interest of the child determination. The ability of a parent to retain a stable job and home, as well as to have a dependable source of child care is very important. So, if a parent has a history of relocating often or being unemployed for long periods of time, this will likely weight against him or her in the child custody determination.

At the end of the day, the best interest of the child, will a tenant in family law, is very subjective. The court has wide discretion in what factors to consider and what weight to give each factor in determining child custody. Still, the discretion of a judge in child custody determinations is bound by the best interests of the child standard and the legal rights of parents to build and maintain relationships with their children.

Family Law Attorneys

Are you struggling with child custody arrangements? If so, the team at Navarrete & Schwartz is here to help. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.