How Do Courts Decide on Child Custody in Texas?

Determining child custody is among the most emotional and complicated aspects of divorce. That said, as a divorcing parent, you want what’s best for your child, and if you believe winning custody of your child will serve your child’s best interests, you need a skilled Montgomery County child custody lawyer who can help prove your case. Continue reading and reach out to the Bolton Law Firm to learn more about how courts determine child custody in Texas and how we can help.

What’s the difference between physical and legal custody?

You may have read about “physical custody” or “legal custody”. In Texas, we don’t use those terms much, because virtually all parents share legal custody. That is why we refer to parents as “joint managing conservators”. However, a child can only be in one place at a time, and Texas courts will assign to one parent the “right to determine the primary residence of the child.” This is what you will hear people refer to as “physical custody” even though a Texas Standard Decree will split the children’s time between both parents, with the “non-custodial parent” still receiving about 40% of the time, if they use all the time awarded to them.

How do courts determine which parent gets custody in Texas?

Courts will consider a variety of factors when determining which parent will get custody of their child, however, they will, first and foremost, consider the child’s best interests. This means that if they determine a child would be best-served living with one parent for most of the time, they will order as much. That said, courts will typically consider the following to gauge what they believe is in their best interests:

  • The bond the child has with each parent
  • The amount that each parent contributes to raising the child
  • Whether either parent has a substance abuse issue
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence or any other behavior that would put their parental fitness into question
  • The geographic proximity of both parents to one another
  • Whether each parent can provide their child with a safe and stable home
  • Whether the child would benefit socially, economically, or educationally by living with one parent over the other
  • If the child is old/mature enough, whether he or she has a preference
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant

If you’re curious about children deciding who they want to live with, visit our FAQ page To learn more about how courts in Texas determine child custody, you can click here to read the state’s statute.

If you believe your child would be best served by living with you, or you have any additional questions about how child custody works here in the state of Texas, reach out to a Montgomery County family law attorney from our firm today.

Contact Our The Woodlands, Texas Firm

If you are looking for an expert Montgomery County divorce lawyer, Bolton Law is the right law firm for you. Bolton Law’s legal team handles all family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and much more. Contact Bolton Law today to schedule your initial consultation.

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