Issues regarding child custody and visitation are of great importance to Texas family court judges, but applying the fundamental standard of formulating final orders based on the best interests of the child means different things to different judges. Not every parent has an ideal situation as two separate households are established post-divorce. It is important for the parent to explain to the court that the child’s welfare is of the utmost importance and how they plan to support this goal.
Legal experts explain that judges do not expect the child’s life to remain exactly as it was before the parents split up. However, the less disruptive the changes are, the better for the child. If one parent can offer a living arrangement that resembles what the child has become accustomed to better than the other parent can, the judge may lean more toward that parent in awarding primary custody. However, the court will weigh many factors in arriving at its ultimate decision.
A primary factor, of course, is the safety of the child. A safe neighborhood and home are fundamental. Who resides at the home is another key factor. It’s not unusual for a newly single parent to consider a roommate, but who and what gender are important. The number, age and gender of other siblings or step-siblings must also be considered as well as any other unique situation the parent is dealing with.
A family law attorney may help tame the emotions and provide guidance in an effort to settle any child custody disputes. It’s vital for both parents to maintain ongoing relationships with the children but only in a safe and healthy environment.