Divorces change the lives of everyone involved, from adults to children. In divorce proceedings, custody for children is one of the most difficult issues to resolve. Parents are emotional and the legalities can become challenging. If you are facing a divorce, it is important to understand how custody for children is determined in court. If you are aware of the factors a judge will consider, it will help you know how to prepare your case.
In all cases, custody for children will be based on their best interests. A judge considers many factors. First, a judge will consider the ability of each parent to provide for the emotional wellness, physical needs, and medical care of the children. In cases of abuse, neglect, and addiction, custody will most likely be lost or severely limited. In some cases, judges might hear from character witnesses on behalf of each parent or a qualified expert such as a licensed child counselor.
Another key factor is the living accommodations of each parent. Judges will look at whether children will have to change schools or neighborhoods and how that could affect them. The ability of a parent to provide a safe and stable home, both physically and emotionally. If one parent has provided most of the child care up to the point of the divorce, a judge may be reluctant to disrupt children’s lives and routines with big changes. Maintaining consistency is important. A parent that travels frequently could be at a disadvantage for providing a stable and consistent home environment due to the demands of their work.
The ages of the children can also be a factor in custody arrangements. Older children may have a preference. It is important to understand that in Texas, the child NEVER gets to choose where they live. The court may interview a child under the age of 12 and must interview a child if he/she is 12 or older, without the parents being present, but ultimately the court will do what it thinks is in the child’s best interest. A judge will also evaluate the relationship between the children and each parent. The preferences of the parents will also be considered. In addition, a judge will consider the willingness of each parent to support the children’s ongoing relationship with the other parent. They will want to ensure that either parent will allow/encourage the other parent to be involved as appropriate. If either parent has made false allegations against the other, this could be a factor in determining custody for children.
In general, judges will work to maintain a consistent and stable environment for the children. These crucial factors are just some of the considerations taken into account when determining custody for a child. If you are seeking a divorce, a child custody attorney can help you understand the process of child custody arrangements. Parker Law Firm has the experience you need to successfully resolve your case. You can call today to see how Chip Parker, Attorney at Law, can help you.