Divorce can be a complicated process, especially when children are involved. Custody battles tend to take center stage among some divorcing couples. Such matters can keep a couple from settling their divorce for quite some time.
Judges aim to make choices that they believe will be in a child’s best interests when called to make decisions in custody cases. Factors such as neighborhood safety, home stability and a child’s developmental or special needs are just some of many concerns that judges weigh when making custody decisions or signing off on agreements reached by parents.
Exhaust all options before pursuing litigation in a custody case
You’ll want to make sure that you’ve exhausted all possible options, including trying to have an amicable, private conversation with your co-parent and pursuing mediation to see if you can reach. You should only pursue litigation if you’ve pursued these other avenues and failed.
Always put your children first when negotiating custody
Divorce can be emotionally draining, even for your children. This is why the court puts their needs first when deciding custody. It’s important that you also do so as parents.
The court may appreciate it if you can demonstrate for them that you’re committed to setting aside your differences with your co-parent and do what’s best for your child. Your living space needs to be safe and conducive to their continued development.
You also have to show that you’re actively involved in your child’s life, whether that means not missing your visits with them, attending parent-teacher conferences, coaching a sports team that they’re on or something else. You’ll want to take even more of an initiative if you’re planning on seeking sole custody.
In some cases, the court may allow children over a certain age who have the mental and emotional capacity to understand what divorce is to voice their custodial preferences.
Each jurisdictions’ laws are different as it relates to factors judges weigh when determining custody. You’ll want to study up on Texas custody laws so that you’ll know how to best protect your parental rights.