Skip to Content

What Factors Does Texas Consider When Awarding Child Custody?


When you have a child with a former partner in Texas, and you both want that child to spend time living in your home, you may need to have the courts step in if you are unable to agree to custody terms. When you task the state of Texas with coming up with a custody arrangement over your minor child, the state’s family court system tries to come up with an arrangement that prioritizes the best interests of your child. When making decisions about where your son or daughter should live, the family courts often refer to the “Holley Factors” to help determine your child’s best interests. While some of these factors might vary based on your child’s age, others apply in virtually all Texas child custody cases.

Per the State Bar of Texas, some of the Holley Factors courts often consider when making decisions about child custody are as follows.

Your Child’s Own Preferences

If your child is old enough and mature enough to voice opinions about where he or she wants to live the court may allow this. How much weight your child’s preferences carry in court may depend on his or her age and maturity level, among other possible considerations.

Your Child’s Physical and Emotional Needs

Arguably the most important factor that determines custody arrangements is your child’s physical and emotional needs and each parent’s ability to meet those needs. Your understanding and willingness to adapt to your child’s needs, and your partner’s, may also play a role in your custody case.

The Stability of Each Parent’s Home

Your ability to provide and maintain a stable home for your son or daughter, and the ability of your ex to do the same, may also factor in during your child custody case.

Many Texas family courts consider the variables outlined above when making custody decisions. However, this is not a complete list of all areas that might undergo review by the court.