Briner Family Law Group

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How is child custody determined in Texas?

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2022 | Child-Related Matters

Divorce can lead to some major changes for your family, and it is natural to fear what you do not understand and cannot predict. Parents often worry about how ending their marriage will affect their relationship with their children, including how much time they will get to spend together and what cost-sharing will look like. When you understand what shared custody arrangements typically look like, you may feel more confident.

Under Texas state law, judges oversee custody proceedings with a presumption that shared conservatorship, or shared custody rights, would be in the best interest of the children. This means that there is rarely a questions of “Who will get the children” but rather, “What is the best possession order for the children?” or “Is the Standard Possession Order (SPO) in the children’s best interest?”  The law prioritizes shared responsibility and parenting time.

The exact terms depend on your family circumstances and parental history

Parenting plans are determined either by the parties involved or by a judge if the parties cannot agree. Some of the things that may be considered include:

  • the age of children involved
  • the school(s) the children attend
  • each parent’s schedule and availability
  • the family’s routines
  • any special needs of the children
  • the safety of the children
  • the desires of the children

Arrangements will vary based on the factors above and more. And in most cases, parents will typically share or have equal but independent decision-making authority.

Putting the children first is paramount

Judges will take into consideration the parental history at play and will look for any potential issues that may arise for the children.  Children’s preferences may be considered but are not the determining factor in custody arrangements. To protect your parenting rights, you need to demonstrate to the judge that you can put your children’s needs ahead of your dispute with your spouse/ex-spouse. The more you prioritize your children in your decisions and your approach to family issues, the more favorable the judge’s opinion of you will be.

At Briner Family Law Group, our attorneys understand the laws that govern custody disputes and work closely with clients to employ the right strategies when negotiating or litigating child custody matters.