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Does my child’s decision matter in my child custody dispute?

Divorces involving children often focus on issues of the parental rights and responsibilities with regards to their kids. Those issues are generally referred to as conservatorship and possession. Here in Texas, the legal terminology for child custody-related matters is somewhat different from the rest of the country. For example, a parent seeking to make certain legal decisions for their children is said to be seeking "conservatorship". A parent seeking primary custody of their children is said to be seeking "possession" of the children.

Texas courts generally follow the practice of considering the best interests of children whenever determining parental conservator and possession rights. In some cases involving non-jury actions, a judge will sometimes interview children over the age of 12 years in his or her chambers. The decision to meet with the child in chambers can either be made by request of one of the parties, or the judge can initiate that meeting on his or her own. Is important to know that either party can also request that a record of that interview be created.

Conservatorship of a child is a serious and important matter. For example, a parent who is the sole conservator can make every decision about which school the children should attend, which doctor should provide their medical care or which extracurricular activities they should be allowed to join.

If you are a Texas parent currently facing conservatorship or possession issues, you should know that your Texas family law attorney can provide essential guidance during this process. Making your argument for your children's best interest should be your chief concern. Your attorney can help you voice that argument to the court in a way that is designed to encourage a more favorable outcome for you and your children.

Source: Texas State Legislature-Statutes, "Chapter 153. Conservatorship, Possession and Access" Dec. 22, 2014

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