Staying out of Court
One of the most pertinent points regarding child custody is that if you and your divorcing spouse can agree to arrangements that work for you, you will not need the court to intervene on your behalf. Keeping this important decision-making power between yourselves is typically favorable but is not always possible.
The Factors that Affect the Court’s Decision
When the judge in your case sets out to make his or her decision regarding your child custody arrangements, the kinds of factors that he or she will take into consideration can include all of the following:
The relationships the children have with each parent
The physical and mental health of both parents individually
The ongoing developmental needs of the children
The children’s individual emotional needs
The stability that each parent is able to provide
Each parent’s ability to provide the children with the necessary care
Mothers Do Not Have an Advantage in Custody Cases
When Texas courts are required to make important decisions regarding child custody, they always base their decisions on the best interests of the children involved. These decisions are not biased toward the mother in the case. Because mothers are somewhat more likely to be children’s primary caregivers and because the court, in its quest to disrupt the lives of the children involved as little as possible, mothers may have a somewhat better chance of becoming primary custodial parents.
Your Visitation Schedule
If you and your divorcing spouse can find a middle ground on the matter, you can hammer out any kind of parenting schedule that works for you and your children. While the court will need to sign off on this schedule, it is almost certain to do so. If you need the court’s intervention, the court is very likely to hand down a standard visitation schedule in which one of you becomes the primary custodial parent and the other parent has a visitation schedule or in which you split your time fairly evenly with your children.
Child Support Is Based on Each Parent’s Financial Ability to Pay
If one of you becomes the primary custodial parent, he or she will likely receive child support from the other. Because child support is based on each parent’s financial ability to pay, however, even if you split your time with the kids evenly, the higher earner among you is very likely to be responsible for paying child support to the other.