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Make sure your actions are in the best interest of the child

As previously mentioned on our website regarding divorces involving a child, Texas family courts strive to strike a balance between both parents and the best interest of the child. In some highly contested divorces, parents sometimes engage in activities that work contrary to their goal of gaining sole managing conservatorship.

Texas identifies child custody as either a joint managing conservatorship -- where both parents share equal roles in parenting the child -- or sole managing conservatorships -- where one parent retains the authority to decide the most important decisions regarding the child's life. For example, a parent with sole managing conservatorship of a child has the ability to consent to medical procedures, where the child will go to school, which religion the child will observe and many other important life decisions on behalf of the child.

It is important to remember that Texas family courts are not obligated to order that parents share a JMC in the divorce agreement. In fact, the court will do whatever it deems most likely to have a favorable outcome for the child. The court will look at factors such as how well the parents are getting along in support of the child. For example, a parent who fails to comply with visitation schedules or otherwise purposely frustrates the other parent's access to the child may not be perceived as acting in the child's best interest.

Texas parents currently going through divorce involving a child should take care to build a positive relationship with the other parent. Putting aside personal disagreements with the other parent and instead prioritizing the child's developmental needs will go a long way toward establishing your favorable status with the court.

Source: bolerlaw.com, "The Texas view of child custody" Sep. 02, 2014

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