Couples facing divorce who have children know that in addition to the legal issues surrounding the division of assets and the separation of property, they will also face questions about what to do regarding child custody.
In the State of Texas, the court system bases child custody on the best interest of the child. This can include many factors, and the court may determine these factors and the weight of each factor by listening to both parents, asking the child, or appointing an independent advocate for the child who will make a custody recommendation to the court. Always the court will look for the option that focuses on the specific care and requirements of the child including special or individual needs.
The court may look at an extensive number of factors to determine the best interest of the child, and the weight of each of these factors may be set by the court for each individual case.
These factors may include but are not limited to:
- Child’s relationship with each parent – and the ability to continue that relationship once the parents are separated;
- Disruption to child’s life – change in living arrangements and schools;
- The ability of parents to care for special needs – medical or learning disabilities as well as total care of the child;
- Ability to provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child; and
- Wants and desires of the child – usually this is only considered for older children who can be determined to understand the consequences and outcomes of living with one parent instead of the other.
Child custody can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, but the important factor is that both the court and the parents should be looking toward the best interests of the child. The common goal of the child’s best interests can help create an outcome that all parties can agree to and follow.
There are many factors and issues at play with child custody. If you believe that the determination of child custody in your divorce will be disputed, contact the Law Office of Lauren Cain to discuss your individual circumstances and what legal course works best for your family. Call (214) 234-2622 for a Texas lawyer who is eager to assist you in your case.