When the parents of a Texas child end their romantic relationship or marriage, the responsibility of deciding where their shared child should live and when often falls on the state’s family court system. The courts refer to the same set of factors when making such decisions. So, recognizing what these factors are may help parents develop realistic expectations of their custody chances.
According to the State Bar of Texas, the following are among the many areas Texas courts consider when making determinations about parenting time and child custody.
The child’s own wishes
When a child is of an appropriate age and maturity level to voice his or her preferences about where to live, judges typically allow the child to express them. However, this is just one of many considerations that may contribute to a judge’s final decision.
The child’s physical and emotional needs
Among the most important factors Texas courts consider in custody cases is each parent’s ability to recognize and provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs. Courts may consider a parent’s finances, employability and assets when considering this area. They may also consider how much time each parent has to devote to the child’s emotional needs.
The parental abilities of both parents
The parental abilities of each parent also come into play in Texas custody cases. Courts may consider each parent’s overall degree of responsibility as well as whether either parent has any history of abusing or mistreating the child or other family members.
These are some of the variables Texas courts review when making decisions about parenting time. However, many other areas may also fall under the microscope in a Texas child custody case.