When divorcing parents cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements, the family court judge will make determinations that best serve the child’s emotional and physical needs. In other words, the child’s best interests are the priority, and parents will need to demonstrate to the judge how their desired custody arrangement serves those interests.
Texas courts usually favor a custody structure that keeps both parents involved in the child’s life, based on the principle that, absent a dangerous circumstance like domestic violence or drug abuse, children are better off receiving influence from both parents.
A judge may order one of these child custody arrangements:
Judges apply many different factors when making determinations of which type of custody is in the child’s best interests. They include:
Courts also consider factors that could have negative consequences for the child. Examples include the past or current substance abuse of a parent and any history of or potential for abuse by a parent.
Before going to court, it is often advisable for parents to work out a parenting plan themselves (with the help of a mediator or their attorneys). If the court agrees that the plan is in the child’s best interests, the court can adopt it and there will be no need for further hearings, which saves both parties time, money and stress.
Parents in North Texas trust Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP to resolve child custody issues every day. With offices in Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville and Celina, our lawyers are never far away. Call 940-230-2386 or contact us online to arrange a confidential meeting to discuss your custody issue.
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