How to Win Child Custody
One of the most difficult aspects of separation or marital dissolution is child custody. Texas law gives no preference to either the mother or the father, and in fact favors granting both parents access to the child. As your College Station child custody attorney can tell you, the standard the courts use is “the best interests of the child.”
Types of Custody
There are two types of custody;
- Physical custody; the parent with whom the child lives has physical custody.
- Legal custody; the right to raise the child and make decisions regarding matters such as school choices, religious upbringing, activities and medical options.
What the Court looks at in Determining Custody Arrangements
In determining the best interests of the child, the court will exam any and all relevant factors, including:
- The home environment of each parent
- The ability of each parent to be a caretaker
- The financial situation of each parent
- The employment situation of each parent, including travel requirements and hours worked
- Any history of domestic violence
- The distance between the parents' homes
- The preference of the child, if the child is at least 12 years of age
Winning Child Custody
Absent a clearly absent or unfit parent, winning sole custody is a difficult proposition given the court's presumption that a child's best interests are served by the active participation of both parents. The approach that is more likely to be effective is one that emphasizes the physical and psychological well-being of the child. Rather than point out the negatives of the other parent, explain how the child is happier and healthier with a regular routine of meals, sleep and school activities provided by living in one residence. It is also important to make known liberal visitation opportunities will be provided to the other parent. A College Station child custody attorney can advise which of these issues should be focused upon.
The Court's Options
The court can order joint legal custody, where the parents share decision making responsibilities but the child lives primarily with one parent. Alternately, shared custody may be appropriate where not only is decision making shared, but the child has two residences. Lastly, sole custody is an option.
Contact a Family Law Attorney for Legal Advice
As difficult as the emotional impact of the break-up of a family is, it is important to understand the legal ramifications. Call an experienced College Station child custody attorney from the Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014.