Child custody is at the top of the list of concerns for most parents going through the divorce process. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing parents to be familiar with how child custody is determined in Texas.
What is child custody based on?
Child custody is based on the evaluation of a variety of factors aimed at determining what is in the best interests of the child. The overall goal of the child custody process is to ensure that whatever child custody arrangement is reached is in the best interests of the child and supports their overall safety and well-being.
How is what is in the child’s best interests determined?
Factors used to determine what is in the best interests of the child include:
- The emotional and physical needs of the child;
- The relationship of the child to each of the parents;
- The health and finances of each of the parents;
- The wishes of the child and their age; and
- Any history of abuse or neglect
It is helpful to keep in mind that in Texas, the term conservator is used to describe custody. Parents may be joint conservators or sole conservators of the child. Both physical and legal custody of the child needs to be determined and each can be joint, or shared, or sole. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with and legal custody refers to which parent handles important decisions for the child.
The child custody process can proceed more smoothly if both parents remain focused on what is in the best interests of the child. Using the best interests of the child standard to guide them can help parents reach a child custody arrangement that works for their family and is best for their child.