Child custody cases can get messy in a hurry, given how desperate both parents likely are to retain custody of their kids. Ultimately, the court will base its custody decisions on what is in the best interest of the child, but there are a number of specific factors that go into that determination.
With this in mind, here are some examples of the factors and child custody laws that will influence a Texas court’s decisions during custody battles.
Each parent’s health and capability
At the outset of the case, the court will carefully consider the physical and mental health of each parent. A parent who struggles with anger or a parent who is clearly not well will be less likely to gain custody than a parent who is both physically and emotionally healthy.
The court will also look at the capability of each parent to serve in the role of primary custodian. A parent who struggles with addiction or substance abuse will likely not be considered capable of raising a child in a healthy environment, as would also be the case for a parent with a criminal history. Each parent’s ability to provide the child’s basic needs is also crucial. Income will be a consideration, though not as much as some of the other issues, as child support can be used to level the playing field when there is a significant income difference between the two parents.
The relationship between the child and each parent
The court will take into consideration the quality of the relationship the child has with each parent. If, for example, the child is much closer with one parent than the other, this could play a role in custody decisions. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a log of all the time you spend with your child, not just at home, but when you’re out taking them places as well.
The child’s preferences
There are some circumstances when the court is dealing with an older child in which it will allow the child to weigh in with his or her own preferences. Interviews with the child are confidential, and may involve both the judge and a custody evaluator. The judge is under no obligation to listen to the child’s preferences, but they can be a factor in decision-making in some cases, especially cases involving teenagers.
The parents’ wishes
During divorce settlement negotiations, the parents may come to their own custody decisions. These decisions still need to be approved by a judge who handles custody cases. In cases where the parents did not come to a conclusion outside of court, they’re still likely to have specific wishes about what they’d like to see happen in the case, and the judge will weigh those wishes along with all the other factors and qualifications that go into their decision-making process.
For more information about the factors that influence a judge’s decision about child custody in Lubbock, TX, contact an experienced family law attorney at The Law Office of Rob Biggers today.
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Categorised in: Divorce