How Child Custody Is Determined During A Divorce
Read this article if you:
- Are wondering how long temporary child visitation orders generally last.
- Want to know how child custody is determined in family law cases in Texas.
- Are worried your child’s wishes regarding custody will be ignored by Texas courts.
What Will Child Custody, Visitation, & Support Look Like Immediately After A Divorce Has Been Filed?
When a divorce petition is filed and children are involved, setting temporary orders is the status quo. Temporary orders are just that – temporary court rulings that determine how a variety of matters impacting your children will be handled throughout the duration of your divorce.
Some of the most common issues decided during a temporary orders hearing include:
- Interim custody of the children
- Visitation schedules
- Child support
- And more…
The length of temporary orders ranges greatly from case to case. Judges in Midland, TX, typically do not allow these orders to last longer than 180 days unless you get an extension. On the other hand, in Odessa, TX, judges are known to let temporary orders remain in effect for as long as necessary.
Once a temporary order is in place, you must follow it. At this point, you would begin figuring out how to settle these matters permanently. It is worth noting, however, that in about four out of five cases, most terms and conditions from temporary orders are put into the final divorce order.
How Is Custody Formally Determined When A Couple Divorces In Texas?
The answers to several questions determine how child custody is decided in Texas, including:
- How are the parents, generally?
- Does either parent have a criminal record?
- Does either parent cultivate the children’s best interest more than the other?
- Which parent can better provide for the children?
- What will housing be like with either parent?
- What will the children’s educational situation look like with either parent?
Generally, courts view couples who put their feelings for their spouse aside and focus on their children positively. If both spouses do this, custody will typically be fair.
Unfortunately, people usually have strong, negative feelings toward their spouses and fight rather than focus on their children. Some even try to manipulate their children into hating the other parent. This can cause issues not only in the custody case, but in the child’s life overall.
Is There An Age Children Have Input On Custody?
In Texas, judges are not required to include children when determining custody until they are 12 years old. Until then, judges might consult the children, but there is no guarantee. If a child is 12 or older, the lawyers in the case will usually file a motion to confer, stating a desire for the judge to speak with the child directly.
This motion to confer will trigger a conference where the child goes to the judge’s chamber, the judge asks them questions, and the court reporter takes notes. Of course, children may have a preference for one parent or the other, even if that parent ultimately isn’t able to provide for their best interest. For this reason, the child’s wishes are only one factor in how custody is determined. In each case, the judge will ultimately make determinations based on the child’s best interest.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Child Custody Cases in Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (432) 653-1899 today.
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