Best Interests of a Child
Family law cases differ from other civil matters in that they are typically emotionally charged and involve competing personal needs. In divorce cases in which the custody of children must be decided, the wishes of the parents are less important than the best interests of a child. Ultimately, a court will determine what is in the best for the child, and there are multiple factors it may assess prior to coming to a decision. If you or your child’s co-parent intend to seek an order defining or modifying custody, it is critical to understand your rights and options and to retain counsel who will fight zealously on your behalf. The dedicated Dallas child custody lawyers of McClure Law Group are well versed in what it takes to obtain successful outcomes in child custody disputes. If we represent you, we will set forth compelling arguments on your behalf to help you seek just results.Instances When the Interest of a Child is Paramount
Essentially, in any family law case involving a child in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas, the court’s primary consideration is what is in the best interests of children. Typically, a judge will conduct an analysis when determining custody disputes. What people generally think of custody is known in Texas as possession, which is the right to spend time with a child, and conservatorship, which is the right to make important decisions for the child, such as choices regarding education and healthcare. Under Texas law, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is better for children if both parents are appointed joint managing conservators. This means both parents can partake in determining how to raise the child.Determining What is in the Best Interests of a Child
Ultimately, a court has broad leeway in determining the best interests of a child with regard to issues of possession and conservatorship. There is no set designation of what is most beneficial for a child, and the conclusion is determined on a case by case basis. In coming to a decision, the court will observe the demeanor of the child and parents and attempt to assess the character of the parents through the information presented, including assessments by any experts who conducted neutral evaluations.
Evidence that the court will consider includes the desires of the child, if the child is at least twelve years old, the physical and emotional needs of the child presently and in the future, and whether anyone in either parent’s household presents a threat of emotional or physical harm to the child. The court may also consider either party’s ability to parent the child and their respective plans for raising the child, and if there are any resources to aid either parent in promoting the child’s best interests. Additionally, the court will weigh which parent historically cared for the child and whether either parent will promote a stable and positive relationship between the child and the other parent. Finally, the court will assess the child’s need for stability, the proximity of the parents' homes to one another, and any other factor it deems relevant. A court’s determination will generally not be overturned unless either party can demonstrate that the evidence of record makes it clear that the judge’s decision was inappropriate.Speak with an Experienced Lawyer
While parents generally want what is best for their children, parties involved in a custody dispute are often unable to agree regarding what arrangement will most benefit their children and must seek legal intervention to establish an appropriate plan. If you are involved in a disagreement over the custody of your child, it is prudent to speak to a lawyer regarding your rights. The experienced attorneys of McClure Law Group can advise you of your options and can gather any evidence that will help you seek your desired outcome. We have a primary office in Dallas, and we are also available to meet by appointment at our Collin County office in Plano. We regularly represent parties in custody disputes in Dallas, Richardson, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Irving, Garland, McKinney, and Frisco. We also assist people in family law disputes in cities throughout Grayson, Rockwall, Dallas, Denton, Collin, and Tarrant Counties. We can be reached via our form online or at 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.