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The primary factors involved in deciding child custody

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Family Law

Some parents in Texas find ways to cooperate with each other about custody matters. Although divorces and breakups often lead to powerful emotions, parents often do their best to put their children first when family circumstances change.

Even parents who want to do what is best for their children sometimes end up taking custody matters to family court. They find it impossible to agree on what would be appropriate given their family circumstances. A judge hearing a contested custody matter in Texas has to abide by state law. The following are the most important considerations in litigated Texas custody cases.

The best interest of the children is the main focus

The primary guiding consideration in any custody matter in Texas should be the best interest of the children in the family. Oftentimes, there is an assumption that joint managing conservatorship is in the best interest of the children.

Joint managing conservatorship involves both parents having time with the children and decision-making authority. However, judges can decide to grant one parent sole managing conservatorship in some scenarios.

The factors that judges consider include the ability of each parent to provide a supportive and stable home. A loving parent with no income or no lease might not be able to meet the children’s needs due to their current circumstances. The health of both the parents and the children in the family can also be a consideration. A judge needs to believe that a parent can meet the physical and emotional needs of the children.

Someone’s income is also a consideration, as is their history of willingly meeting the needs of the child. Judges may also consider the current relationship that the adults in the family have with the children. All of these factors and sometimes even the wishes of more mature teenage children can influence a judge’s final determination about the division of parenting time and decision-making authority.

Unless there have been issues with a parent abusing a child, neglecting them or having a very unhealthy relationship with the child, a judge is likely to grant both parents time with the children and a degree of control over major decisions about their lives, including their education and the healthcare that they receive.

Parents concerned about the outcome of upcoming custody litigation may need to gather evidence about their circumstances and their relationship with their children. Learning about what factors matter most to the courts and the judges presiding over Texas custody cases may help people plan more effective strategies for family court. Parents who set realistic goals based on current custody laws may have a better chance of achieving the outcome they desire in a litigated Texas custody case.