Divorce creates unique challenges for families in Texas who must decide how to arrange the care of their children. Parents must juggle many factors that may include relocation, careers and the individual needs of each child in their family.
Parents that prioritize the needs of their children and put their focus on their well-being may provide them with the support they need to resiliently move forward. Over time as priorities shift and children grow, modifications to the original agreement may benefit all parties.
Understanding best interests
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, courts look extensively at both parents’ abilities to provide a stable and loving home for their children. In conjunction with that, they assess which circumstances would provide an optimal level of safety for each child.
In the state of Texas, courts look at several factors when determining a parent’s ability to provide for his or her children. These include each person’s parenting skills and whether there is a history of abuse in the home. Courts will also assess each child’s age and psychological development, as well as the need for any professional counseling or therapy.
Prioritizing a child’s desires
In the state of Texas, a child 12-years-old or older has the legal right to express his or her desire regarding custody, according to the Texas State Law Library. While not a guarantee that a child’s opinion will be the final decision, it will influence the development of a custody order. Children who express their desire to live with one parent over the other and provide context as to why may have an instrumental effect on creating a beneficial custody agreement.
Your custody agreement should reflect your family’s unique lifestyle. There’s a lot to consider during a divorce, but a customized custody agreement can make life easier for you and your children.