No subject creates more emotion in a Texas divorce case than child custody. Money and property are material objects with price tags, but no one can put a price on your relationship with your children.
In Texas, you and your spouse can file a parenting plan with the court. If you cannot agree on a plan, the court decides custody.
What does the court consider?
In deciding your case, Texas looks at:
- Whether joint custody benefits your children
- Whether you will support a relationship between your children and the other parent
- Your ability to communicate with the other parent
- Your contributions to your children’s upbringing
- Your children’s wishes
- Other factors particular to your case
What should you consider?
Show that you can cooperate reasonably with the other parent. Perception is important.
Spend as much time as possible with your children. Be an active part of their lives – school, social and sporting activities and so on. Be on time when picking up and dropping off your children during visitations. Let them know you love them through actions and words.
Document visitations with your children, emails with the other parent and so on. Be honest. One small lie can undermine your entire case.
Know your rights by studying child custody law. Talk to friends who have been through the process for their advice.
Do not say bad things about the other parent in front of your children or try to get them involved in the case. Word could get back to your spouse.
Follow all court instructions. The court may order counseling or parenting classes, which you need to attend. Defiant behavior undermines your relationship with the court.
What are some other options?
You can do everything right and still lose your child custody case. The law is complex. You may have missed something, and you can make an innocent mistake.
You can appeal the court ruling and get additional help. Do everything you can to protect your rights and secure a happy future for your children.