How Are Child Custody Decisions Made in Texas?

During a divorce, the many processes can be difficult to understand including the child custody negotiation. In Texas, child custody is determined based on a child’s best interests emotionally, physically and psychologically as well as the child’s wishes. During this time, it’s best to understand how a court’s decision is made and what you can do to assist them.

Filing a Parenting Plan

Parents must file a proposed parenting plan to the court prior to the court’s determination. A proposed parenting plan is a temporary order that explains each parent’s rights and responsibilities, possession of and access to the child in question and dispute resolution.
Parents can hire a third-party mediator to help them draft a proposed parenting plan prior to other proceedings to minimize stress and get a head start on determining custody. A parenting plan must include the duties of each parent, times and days of child possession, the provider of child support and means of developing an ongoing relationship with the child from each parent.

Many Factors Are Included in a Court’s Decision

If the parents do not submit a parenting plan, the court will have the final say on the custody arrangement. The court focuses on many factors to make its decision such as:

  • The child’s wishes
  • Whether joint custody will benefit the child
  • Whether each parent is ready to promote a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The communication level between parents when it comes to making important decisions regarding the child
  • The level of involvement of each parent before the case
  • The proximity of each parent’s living space

Other factors may arise depending on the nature of the case. The court will do what it deems to be in the child’s best interest.

Reach Out to an Attorney First

It’s in your best interest to reach out to an attorney prior to entering into any settlement or agreement. An attorney can help you decide on a custody arrangement that is best for you and your child. To learn more about child custody proceedings in Texas, reach out to our team of attorneys today.