BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD STANDARD
Under Texas Law, all court orders affecting children must be in the children’s best interest, not the parents.
This means every order must fit into the framework by considering the Holley factors. Making
best interest determinations, the courts take into account the factors set forth by the Texas
Supreme Court in the Holley v. Adams case: (1) the desires of the child; (2) the emotional and
physical needs of the child now and in the future; (3) the emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future; (4) the parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody; (5) the programs available to assist these individuals to promote the best interest of the child; (6) the plans for the child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody; (7) the stability of the home or proposed placement; (8) the acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and (9) any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent. Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367 (Tex. 1976).
CHILD CUSTODY/THE RIGHT TO NAME THE RESIDENCE OF THE CHILD
Under Texas Law, each parent is presumed to be the managing conservator of the child. As a
managing conservator, you have certain rights such as to make medical and educational decisions for the child and the right of physical possession of the child. Only one parent can have the exclusive right to name the residence of the child and that parent is the one that is commonly
referred to as having custody. The other parent is given the right of possession under what is
called a standard possession order (SPO) which is commonly referred to as visitation. The SPO
provides the parent with the possession of the child on the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of the month.
MODIFYING YOUR ORDER
You may have a need to modify your current order because it is not in the best
interest of your children. In addition, you had a material and substantial change in circumstances may
have since the date of your last order. Common types of material and substantial changes in
circumstances recognized by the court are moving to another location causing an existing
visitation arrangement unworkable, an increase or decrease in income, child abuse or neglect.
Our attorney can help you through the process of modifying your current order.
ENFORCING YOUR CURRENT CHILD VISITATION (POSSESSION) ORDER
If you’re not getting the visitation or phone access the court ordered from the other parent, you
may need to enforce the current possession order. By enforcing the possession order, the other
parent may be ordered to give you make up time for the missed visits and in some cases be
sentenced to jail for violating the court’s order by not allowing you the time with your child the
ordered. Our attorney can help you through the process enforcing your possession order.