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Child Custody Is Too Important to Leave to Chance

When children are involved in a divorce, maintaining a relationship with the children is among the most important goals of both spouses, if not the most important goal. Whatever differences a couple might have that leads to divorce, most often those differences do not include a love for their children. While it is good that parents love their children, custody fights can get ugly and end up damaging everyone involved. To avoid such an unsavory situation, which does no one any good, least of all the children, it is important to approach child custody with an understanding of what the law allows and a determination to do what is best for your children.

State Law Puts The Child First

No matter what you want, the divorce court will, by state law, put the best interests of the child first. The court is required “to assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child; and encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.” But above all else, “[t]he best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court.” When determining how to frame a custody order, a Texas divorce court will consider:

  • Whether the parents have been able to agree on a custody and visitation plan,
  • The health, welfare and safety of the children,
  • Whether there is a history of violence, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual assault by a parent, and
  • Whether a child older than 10 has filed a document with the court stating a preference for a custodial parent.

While Texas divorce courts operate under a statutorily imposed preference for joint conservators—both parents sharing legal custody and making important decisions about the child together—the best interests of the child will always be the primary guiding principle for the court. Thus, the law is slanted in favor of you having at least joint conservatorship. If you want to have primary conservatorship of your children, you likely will have to demonstrate to the court that being with you is in the best interests of your children. This can be a difficult process.

There is no legal preference for the mother or the father as the primary conservator—the law prefers joint conservatorship. You will be starting from a preferred position where you will share custody and decision-making regarding your children. There likely are no perfect solutions, and you, like the court, should probably consider the best interests of the children in deciding what course of action to take.

If You Are Getting Divorced, You Should Contact The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., for Legal Assistance

Custody can be a difficult issue to deal with, even in an amicable divorce. To no longer be with your child every day is a devastating prospect for most parents. If you are faced with a divorce that involves a custody question, you need someone to protect your rights. If you are getting divorced in Katy or Richmond, the Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., can help you through the process. Contact the firm at (832) 263-6770 or through our contact form.