For divorcing parents, child custody is among one of the most difficult matters they will handle as they go through the process of dissolving their marriage. When rendering this important decision, Texas family courts will examine a variety of factors, which are referred to as the child’s best interests. Of course, both parents want what is best for their children, so it is important to understand what this term means in the eyes of the law and how it impacts child custody.
The Best Interests of the Child
In most child custody cases, it is presumed that both parents will share rights and duties, though it may not necessarily be equal. Moreover, a child who is 12 years of age or older may sign an affidavit to state a preference for either parent. However, a judge does not have to follow the child’s wishes.
Below are some of the factors a judge will consider when deciding child custody:
- How supportive each parent is when it comes to encouraging frequent contact between the child and the other parent.
- If there is a history of past or present abuse or neglect.
- The child’s relationship with extended family members as well as their availability.
- If either parent attempted to turn the child against the other parent.
- The ability of either parent to adequately fulfill the developmental, physical, emotional, educational, and special needs of the child.
- The amount of conflict between both parents and how willing they are to cooperate in raising their children.
- If there is a history of substance abuse by any member of either parent’s household.
- The physical and mental health of both parents and any other member of their household.
- The proximity of their residences.
- Any other factor that may be considered relevant.
Every child custody case is unique, so the factors used to render a decision in your case may differ somewhat. An experienced family law attorney can help you work toward the best possible resolution for your circumstances.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney About Your Child Custody Case Today!
Child custody matters can be incredibly emotional for everyone involved, which is why it is essential to hire a skilled legal advocate to take on your case. At the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill PLLC, our family law team is prepared to deliver personalized representation and tailored solutions. You can rely on us to provide the help you need during this difficult time.
Reach out to our law office today at (832) 210-1698 to set up a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.