There is one major issue that guides a family court judge to make decisions regarding the custody of children in a divorce case. In Texas, as in all states, judges will always base child custody decisions on what is in the best interests of the children. Within this issue, there are many similar elements judges in all states will consider regarding child-related issues.
The following are some things a family court judge is likely to consider when making child custody decisions:
- Ability to parent: Can both parents meet the needs of the children, emotionally as well as physically? Can each provide the necessities like food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, etc.?
- Ages of the children: Younger kids may need more care overall. A judge will also consider who has been the kids’ main caregiver.
- Consistency in routine: Children thrive on routine and they don’t always do well with a lot of changes to an already established routine. A judge may look at the consistency of living arrangements, school, visitation with other members of the family, etc.
- Safety: A judge will not grant custody to a parent if he or she believes a child will be in harm’s way.
- Potential relocation of a parent: If one parent is planning to relocate with the children, that parent will need to provide evidence as to why the relocation may be best for the children.
Seeking help and support for these challenges
Child custody issues can be very stressful and present a multitude of complexities for divorcing parents and for children who are old enough to realize what’s happening. Those in Texas who are facing this emotional time might find it less stressful and intimidating if they have guidance from an attorney experienced in these matters. Having adequate help and support can allow one to better focus on the future while also increasing the odds of achieving the best possible outcome.