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Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC

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Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC consists of seasoned trial lawyers that were brought together from the United States Marine Corps, the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office, the Plano City Attorney’s Office, an elite personal injury firm, and the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. The law firm’s founders left these large, prestigious organizations for one reason: to offer personalized, caring criminal defense, personal injury, and family law representation to people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Our attorneys have the right experience and offer the personal touch to be your best advocate when times are tough.

Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC is a criminal defense and personal injury law firm with offices in Fort Worth and Keller, Texas, serving Tarrant and eight other counties throughout Texas. Our practice area encompasses DWI, drug and weapons crimes, theft, assault, sex offenses, domestic violence, white-collar and federal crimes, juvenile defense, murder and manslaughter, expunction, and nondisclosures. We also provide personal injury representation for victims of vehicle accidents, product and premises liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases.

Child custody decisions are among the most difficult a parent will ever have to make. Many parents want what is best for their child, but find it hard to agree on what that means. We understand that every family is unique, having different needs and different circumstances.

We are often asked, “How does the court decide who should get custody of the child?”

The Texas Family Code states that “the best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.” While “best interests of the child” is not well-defined, the court will usually consider the following factors (called the “Holley factors”) as guidelines:

The desires of the child;
The emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future;
The emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future;
The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody;
The programs available to assist these individuals to promote the best interest of the child;
The plans for the child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody;
The stability of the home or proposed placement;
The acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and
Any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.