In deciding child custody and visitation arrangements, the court will always act in what it believes to be the best interests of a child. While each case is different, in the 1976 case Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 371-72 (Tex. 1976), the court provided a nonexclusive list of what it believes must be considered when determining what is in the best interests of a child. As a result, Holley v. Adams helped define what factors the court is likely to take into consideration when determining which parent to award custody to and how parenting time and visitation schedules should be arranged. Additionally, in more recent years, courts in Texas have decided custody and visitation matters on the presumption that in most cases it is in the best interests of a child that both parents be involved in his or her life.
At The Law Office of Patrick O'Fiel, P.C., we work closely with you in preparing child custody and visitation schedules as part of a divorce, Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) or post divorce modification. While Mr. O'Fiel will help you negotiate a settlement if you opt for a mediation, he is also prepared to litigate your case in court.
The decision in Holley v. Adams resulted in the following list of issues — referred to as “Holley factors” — in determining what is in the best interests of a child:
Today, courts also consider the following:
In Texas, noncustodial parents are provided with a standard possession order that lists their visitation rights in most cases. However, parents can customize visitation schedules provided both parents are willing to enter into negotiation to do so or the court may do so if it is in the best interest of the child. While parents can create their own visitation schedule, subject to approval by the court, most visitation schedules involving the following:
Visitation during a child's spring break or summer vacation depends on whether or not parents live within 100 miles of each other. If parents live more than 100 miles apart, a noncustodial parent is entitled to more parenting time during summer vacation and spring breaks.
At The Law Office of Patrick O’Fiel, P.C., we’re committed to helping parents stay involved in their children’s lives. If you’re facing a SAPCR or going through a divorce and have questions regarding child custody or visitation, contact Kerrville, Texas, child custody attorney Patrick O’Fiel today. Call us at 1-888-652-0370.
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