In family law, the judges always state that they operate in the child’s best interests. But what does that necessarily mean? How does a judge – who doesn’t know your child – determine what is in their best interest? Find out how the courts determine the best interests of a child and how you can help protect your child’s interests during a custody battle in today’s blog from Evans Family Law Group.
What is Considered the Best Interests of the Child?
There is no set definition for the best interests of the child. It is often the legal standard that the courts will use to determine the best upbringing for the child during a child custody battle. It can refer to a range of factors, including:
- The emotional connection between the child and their parents
- The ability of the parents to provide a safe home for the child
- The mental and physical needs of the child
- The presence of safety concerns in the home
- The mental and physical health of the parents
The courts will weigh a variety of these factors and determine the future custody arrangements of the child. Child custody battles are filled with tension for everyone involved. Protecting the child’s best interests is the priority for the courts and the parents. However, here are some actions you can take to help protect the best interests of your child during the custody battle.
Work With the Other Parent
Unless your child’s safety is jeopardized, you want to show that you’re willing to work with the other parent as much as possible. Being on the same page will reflect positively on you and the other parent. It will also benefit your child to see that the two of you want the same thing. If the other parent isn’t willing to work with you, keep track of your communication. You want to show evidence that you have been as cooperative as possible.
Create a Parenting Plan
A parenting plan shows that you have been intentional about your child’s needs. If you can work with the other parent to create this plan, even better. A parenting plan can include everything from a proposed visitation schedule to daily childcare responsibilities.
Whatever arrangements you include in your plan, you want to ensure everything is fair to the other parent. You want to ensure the schedule is not one-sided or prevents the other parent from spending time with the child.
Keep Records of Your Responsibilities and Time
The courts may award custody to the parent who spends the most time with the child. You want to keep track of all the time and caretaking duties you are responsible for. You can collect various documents as evidence of these responsibilities. This includes photos, screenshots, and journal entries. Keeping records can even help if you’re not spending as much time with your child. If you feel your time with your child is being manipulated, you can use these records as proof.
Be Respectful in Court
Regardless of the direction of your custody battle, do not blow up on the other parent in court. Make sure that you respect all parties involved in the legal proceedings. Don’t cut the other parent’s lawyer off or make scathing remarks.
Talk to a Texas Child Custody Attorney Today
When you have questions about child custody issues in Texas, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced child custody attorney from the Evans Family Law Group. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.