Though folklore often paints the court system as favorable to the mother in custody cases, Texas law puts the best interest of the child first.
Today, Texas courts take many factors into consideration when developing a custody arrangement.
Important factors courts consider
Courts can utilize discretion in custody cases, but they generally consider:
- Wishes of children over 12
- Each party’s parenting capabilities
- Physical and emotional needs of the child
- Potential danger to the child
- Stability of each environment
- Indications that either parent is unfit
- Each party’s plans for the child
When courts grant joint conservatorship
In the state of Texas, custody is legally referred to as conservatorship. Judges decide to give joint conservatorship after taking into account:
- Each parent’s capacity to facilitate and accept a healthy rapport between the child and the other parent
- Each parent’s capacity to prioritize the well-being of the child
- Each parent’s capacity to make shared decisions regarding the child’s best interest
- Each parent’s participation in raising the child to date
- The child’s preference if over the age of 12
- The distance between parental residences
Barring any abuse by either parent, Texas law prefers both parents to share in the custody equally to the extent that doing so is practical for the family. This allows each guardian to share in every aspect of raising the minor, including making medical and education decisions.
Texas courts take many factors into consideration before making decisions regarding the conservatorship of a child. The best interest of the minor is the most important facet in the decision-making process.