Problems may arise if a set of parents interprets “best interests” differently when negotiating terms of agreement in a divorce. A Texas family court judge can make decisions on their behalf to determine what is best for their children regarding a particular issue. The court takes numerous factors under consideration when making child custody decisions.
The court typically believes that children are best able to cope with their parents’ divorce if they themselves continue to spend an ample amount of time with each parent. If a parent has evidence that his or her ex is abusing drugs or alcohol, this parent understandably wouldn’t want kids exposed to that and may request sole custody. The court bases its decisions on state guidelines in conjunction with the merits of a specific case.
What factors does the court take into consideration for child custody decisions?
One of the primary goals in protecting children’s best interests in a divorce is to preserve a sense of routine and normalcy in their daily lives. The following list shows additional factors a judge might consider when determining which type of custody agreement would be best in a particular case:
- Children’s ages
- Mental and physical health of each parent
- Whether any particular child has special needs
- Home environment must be stable
- School and community issues
- Opportunities to interact with extended family members
- Cultural customs
- Religious issues
- Whether there is evidence of child neglect or abuse
If a parent believes that his or her ex is a good parent, he or she might opt for sharing physical and legal custody. If, however, a concerned parent believe kids would be at risk in the custody of their other parent, he or she may ask the court to address the concerns.
Child custody support is always available
A Texas parent does not have to handle difficult child custody issues alone. Support is available in many capacities, including the legal side of things. By requesting a meeting with an experienced family law attorney early on, a parent gains a personal advocate who can act on his or her behalf in court to ensure that children’s best interests are the central focus of all custody proceedings.