How Is Custody Determined In Texas?
The emotional and physical welfare of the children is the paramount concern in any court in Texas when making a decision regarding children and custody. The standard is known as the best interest standard. A judge will hear evidence and make a decision that advances the best interests of the children. The judge can consider any kind of admissible evidence which is relevant. The public policy in Texas is to fashion custody orders which promote frequent and continuing contact between the children and both parents, assuming that those parents have demonstrated the ability to act in the best interest of the children.
There are no presumptions under Texas law which favors one gender over the other. A judge can’t discriminate on the basis of gender. The facts and the evidence control. Sometimes, a custody decision is easy when one party has neglected or endangered a child or shown a pattern or history of abuse or neglect.
When Can A Child Decide Who He Or She Will Live With in Texas?
Under the Texas family law code, a child at least 12 years of age may seek to have a conference with the judge. The child’s attorney can file a motion to confer with the child. The court shall interview the child upon that party’s request or application. The judge will interview the child for the purpose of determining that child’s preferences as to custody or which parent should have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of that child. The court can also interview the child on its own motion. The same rules apply as to the determination of the child’s desires to possession, access, and other issues involved. The court always has the final say on these issues. The result of the interview does not affect the judge’s discretion in determining the best interests of the child.
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