How the Texas Courts Establish Custody and Visitation
In Texas, you can enter into a mutual agreement regarding the custody and visitation rights of parents with respect to minor children. However, if you cannot come to an agreement, the court will, in its discretion, make a determination of what is in the best interests of the child. Children who have reached the age of 12 may participate in the determination of custody and visitation arrangements. This blog post looks at the factors the court will consider when evaluating what is in the best interests of the child.
The Determination of Custody and Visitation in Texas
As in all states, the standard in Texas when determining custody and visitation is "the best interests of the child." This standard is somewhat vague, but there are factors that the court typically considers, including:
- The educational, health, religious and other special needs of the child
- The respective parenting skills of the mother and father
- The current and futures emotional and physical needs of the child
- The stability of the respective homes
- The past conduct of each parent, as well as the nature of the past relationship between the parent and child
- The geographic proximity of the mother and father to other family members, including grandparents
The court may also take past evidence of domestic violence into consideration when making a determination of custody and visitation. The abuse need not have been directed toward the child. A parent's custody and visitation rights can be affected by prior history of spousal or partner abuse. A history of substance abuse or illegal activity may also be used to limit custody and visitation rights.
Contact the Law Offices of Pfister Borserine & Associates
At Pfister Borserine & Associates, we bring more than 20 years of experience to men and women throughout north Texas. Attorney John Pfister is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We understand that every case is unique, and take the time to learn the details of your situation, so that we can formulate a specific strategy to get the outcome you want. We offer experienced and successful trial counsel, or can help you to resolve your family law differences through alternative means, including negotiated settlements or mediation.