How Courts Determine Child Custody
Find out how child custody in Texas is generally handled and the various factors the court considers in making these arrangements.
Child custody is among the most sensitive types of cases dealt with in the Texas family court. Decisions made during legal proceedings impact your child, the amount of time you spend with your children, and your rights for years to come. Our Fort Worth child custody attorneys explain more about how the court determines custody and factors that could impact your case.
How Child Custody Orders in Texas are Created
Child custody disputes are common in divorce and during paternity proceedings. Under the Texas Family Code, the court’s primary concern is protecting the best interests of the child. This generally involves, despite any contentious feelings between the parents, encouraging both to continue playing an active, engaged role in their child’s life.
Parenting plans dictate the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home. Once a parenting plan is created, it is submitted to the court for approval and incorporated into a final child custody order. Issued that must be addressed in a parenting plan:
- Whether one parent will be the child’s primary caregiver or whether they will share custody;
- Where the child spends time during the week and rights to weekend visitation;
- Whether one or both parents have legal authority in making important decisions impacting the child’s life, such as in regard to their medical care, education, and religious upbringing;
- Rights regarding holidays, school breaks, and other special occasions.
Factors the Court Considers Before Approving Custody Arrangements
Child custody arrangements in Fort Worth are handled through the Tarrant County Family Court. While having both parents involved in the care and custody of their child is generally encouraged, it is not practical in every case. When determining parental rights and responsibilities, important factors the judge will consider include:
- Each parent’s current and prior role in the child’s life;
- Their proven ability to provide a stable home and the care and nurturing the child needs;
- Their willingness to cooperate with the other parent in implementing child custody arrangements;
- The wishes of the child, if they are old enough to express a reasonable preference;
- Any additional factors in the case that could put the child at risk.
A history of drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, and allegations of domestic violence or other types of abuse influence the judge’s decision regarding child custody and could result in the loss of parental rights.
Get Our Fort Worth Child Custody Attorneys on Your Side
Child custody disputes in Fort Worth are among the most sensitive family court cases. At the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, we provide the trusted guidance and professional legal representation you need to protect your child’s best interests and your rights as a parent. To get our experienced Fort Worth child custody attorneys on your side, call 817-332-7703 or contact our office online and request a consultation today.