The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

Child custody and the best interests of the children standard

Most Sugar Land parents want what is best for their kids. During a divorce, this means coming to a child custody arrangement that gives them the easiest transition into a new lifestyle and the best chance to thrive moving forward. Whether a parent is heading to court or working out an arrangement with the other parent, he or she may want to better understand what the court considers in determining the best interests of the children and what can be done to ensure the kids remain the primary focus.

Of course, the court will want to make sure that a parent can provide for the children’s physical and emotional needs, including the basics of food, shelter, clothing and more. A judge will also take the age of each child into consideration since children require different amounts of care at different ages. Obviously, a teenager does not need the same level of hands-on care as a toddler. Even so, regardless of age, the court looks at the bond between each parent and each child. Courts hesitate to interfere with a child’s routines, especially if it may not be necessary.

Parents going to court will want to provide evidence of active involvement in the children’s lives. This could be something as simple as a bedtime routine to enrolling the children in school to making sure they get any needed medical care. It is also a good idea to show the court a willingness to work with the other parent regardless of personal issues. Parents negotiating their own arrangements should also focus on this.

Understanding the best interests of the children standard could help in preparing to go to a child custody hearing or in preparing a parenting plan. In either case, it is essential to keep the children at the forefront of any discussions with each other or with the court. More than likely, Sugar Land parents going through a divorce have additional questions about what a judge will expect regarding this topic, and they may find the answers they need by consulting with an attorney.

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