FACTORS IN DETERMINING CUSTODY IN TEXAS

When a couple is going through a divorce or separation, the court will need to determine some sort of child custody arrangement for the children involved. When determining custody, Texas uses a standard that prioritizes the best interests of the child. There are many factors that play into the decision, including:

• the child’s age

• the mental and physical health of the child and the parents

• each parent’s lifestyle and habits

• the emotional bond present between the child and parents

• the parent’s ability to provide guidance to the child

• the parent’s ability to provide for the child in general, with food, clothing, etc

• the current living pattern of the child

• the impact that change may have on the child

Oftentimes, they can look at the quality of life that the child has with their community, education, religious institution, etc and determine if that should be preserved or changed. Also, if the child is above a certain age, their preference may be taken into consideration. The court will see if these factors lead to a favored parent or not and their decision will be made accordingly. Generally, parents will share the rights and duties of parenting the child, but they may not be shared equally. Joint custody is preferred because having both parents involved in the child’s life holds value. There are times; however, when one parent is deemed unfit and the other parent can receive sole custody.

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