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How is child custody determined in Texas?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2022 | Child Custody

For divorcing parents, determining child custody is one of the most concerning aspects of divorce. The Texas Family Code details the policy regulating custody, called conservatorship, by putting the children’s best interest first.

Judges must use discretion when determining what is best for children during this process. While there is no specific standard, the courts may consider the following circumstances.

Parental involvement

Judges consider how active a parent is with their children when determining possession. Parents that play a big part in their children’s every day lives may get a larger share of time with them than a parent that was not in their lives at all.

Special needs

Some children require extra care due to medical conditions or mental disabilities. This responsibility may fall on one parent during the marriage. If one parent has more experience and knowledge in caring for their special needs children, it may be necessary to appoint sole managing conservatorship to that parent.


Courts consider both the age of the children and the parents when making conservatorship decisions.

  • Children over the age of 12 may provide impute about their preference of where they want to live
  • Infants and children under three may require different arrangements than older children
  • Parents’ age and long-term health play a critical role in the judges’ decisions


When parents divorce, one or both parents may consider relocation. If this move takes school-aged children outside their current school zone, the courts may take that under review. Consistency is essential for children during divorce, and keeping them in the same school with their friends can be a priority.

Knowing that each petition for child conservatorship requires an individual assessment of the children’s best interests may encourage parents to put their children first in a divorce.


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