Texas law encourages parents to work out custody arrangements themselves without bringing the issue to court. If parents can't come to an agreement, courts in Texas make custody decisions based on what is in the "best interest" of the child. Court will presume that joint legal custody, called "conservatorship" is best unless you can prove otherwise.
What Does the Court Consider in Assigning Custody?
When deciding which parent should have primary physical custody, Texas courts usually consider the following:
- Physical and mental health of the parents
- The health, welfare and safety of the child
- The history of contact between the parents and the child
- How close the parents live to each other
- Evidence of child abuse
- The preferences of the child if it's 12 years or older
What Happens When the Court Has Made a Decision?
The custody order is signed by the judge and then filed with the court clerk. From now both parents are bound by it. If any of the parents doesn't follow the custody order the other parent may bring the issue before the judge who can modify it.
Should I Contact a Texas Lawyer Regarding my Custody Issues?
It will be vital if you have concerns about who will make decisions for you child that you get an experienced child custody lawyer to help persuade the court what the right arrangement is for your child. A good Texas family law attorney will help you do this.