If you file for a divorce as a Texas parent, you and your ex must come to an agreement about where your children will live. You must also determine who will provide finances for which needs and whether you will have to consult each other to make decisions on their behalf or only one of you will have that authority. All of these issues are relevant to child custody proceedings.
In some cases, one parent might believe that his or her ex is a detriment to the children for any number of reasons. In such circumstances, you can request sole child custody. However, if you do so, you must be prepared to show just cause, meaning legitimate reasons that might convince the court that your request merits approval.
If your ex does not take an active role in your children’s lives
It is always best for kids to have an active relationship with both parents following a divorce. However, if your ex does not even attempt to do so or has stated that he or she has no desire to do so, it is likely that the court would consider it in their best interest for you to have sole custody.
The following list includes additional reasons that most family court judges would consider just cause for granting sole custody:
- Your ex has a substance abuse problem.
- The co- parent is in jail.
- You have evidence to prove that your ex is an abusive parent.
The court has your children’s best interests in mind
If you explain to a family court judge all of the reasons why you believe that your children are best off in your sole custody, he or she will take your comments under consideration. Then, the judge will also consider state child custody guidelines and make a decision based on the merits of your case and the options available that seem to be best for your children’s well-being.
What if your ex disregards the court order?
If you are one of many Texas parents who has a contentious relationship with a co- parent, you might have your work cut out to try to keep the peace, especially if your ex doesn’t hold up his or her end of the agreement. For instance, if you agree to a visitation schedule and your ex keeps not showing up or he or she has been ordered to pay child support but isn’t doing so, you may want to reach out for additional support to help resolve the issue.