A parent can file for custody of a minor child in Texas so long as the child resides in the state. You can also file if you did reside in the state for at least six months prior to the filing.
A parent may also file for custody in Texas if one parent has a connection to the state besides physically living there, like a job, or if evidence exists in Texas regarding the child’s care.
Factors Considered in Child Custody Cases
Texas law requires that the court consider the best interests of the child when determining “custody” which is referred to as “conservatorship” in the family arena. The courts look to a list of non-exhaustive factors decided by the landmark case, Holly v. Adams. Some of those factors include, but are not limited to:
- The child’s desires;
- The parent’s ability to provide for the child;
- The needs of the child;
- The current and future emotional and physical needs of the child;
- Any current or future emotional and physical danger to the child;
- The programs available to assist each parent to promote the best interest of the child;
- The plans a parent has for the child;
- The stability of the proposed home;
- Any acts or omissions of the parent that may indicate parental unfitness, and any explanations for such acts or omissions; and
- Any history of domestic violence.
It is important that potential litigants begin collecting evidence early that helps prove custody with you is in your child’s best interests. This might include medical records, employment history, financial records, school records, and any applicable police reports.