In Texas, the legal term for custody is conservatorship, and it refers to parents’ responsibilities and rights. If you find yourself separated and going through a divorce proceeding, you may wonder what affects conservatorship determination.

Sole managing conservatorship gives either you or the other parent the sole legal right when it comes to most decision-making responsibilities. More often, though, the court names both parents as joint managing conservators, which is similar to joint custody in that you share the rights and duties of parenting. However, this does not mean your child spends equal amounts of time with you and the other parent. That part of the equation is for the standard possession order.

Take a look at three things that may impact the schedule of the standard possession order.

  1. The age of the children

The age of the children plays a significant role in figuring out how the visitation schedule should look. If you divorce with small children, the court may wish to keep them in a consistent environment, living primarily with one parent and visiting the other. As your children grow, their wishes and feelings become more of a factor in whom they spend time with.

  1. The willingness of parents to work together

It may seem impossible to predict just how parents who could not stay married can co-parent effectively. However, the mood of the proceeding may help a judge decide which of you is more willing and able to foster a positive relationship with the other.

  1. Criminal history

If one parent has gotten into legal trouble before, especially in domestic violence situations, a judge may decide not to grant him or her conservatorship. While this does not mean that parent cannot see his or her children, it may mean that a third party must supervise the visitation.

Child custody is one of the most contentious areas in divorce and can bring out the worst in even the most amicable people. Taking the time to consider the best interests of the children and what type of role you have played in their lives thus far may help predict how the ruling may go in your case.