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What factors do Texas courts consider in child custody decisions?

The stakes can be remarkably high when it comes to child custody matters, as how such matters are resolved can have long-term impacts on how much time a parent gets to be with their kids. Parents also generally have very strong opinions regarding what custody arrangement would be best, and these views don't always match. Given this, it isn't at all surprising that, sometimes, despite their best efforts, separated or divorced parents are not able to come to an agreement regarding the issue of child custody.

When this occurs, the decision of what child custody arrangement will be established goes to a court. There are a great many things courts here in Texas can look at when considering what custody arrangement would be best for a given child.

One is the past conduct of the parents. For example, courts can consider what roles the two parents have historically played in the upbringing of the child.

The level of communication between the two parents is also sometimes a factor. Whether the parents are capable of the effective communication necessary to further the child's best interests through proper decision-making is something courts generally look into.

Another thing courts consider is the location of the parents. They will generally look at what the distance is between the residences of the two parents.

If the child has expressed any specific preferences regarding custody, courts will also consider these wishes.

These are just a few examples, there are a great many other factors Texas courts can take into account when making custody decisions.

Given the large number and diverse nature of such factors, making thorough preparations prior to a child custody hearing can be quite important for a parent. These preparations can include gathering evidence on relevant factors. Child custody attorneys can assist parents with pre-hearing preparations.

Source: FindLaw, "Texas Child Custody Laws," Accessed Aug. 29, 2014

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