Figuring out child custody will be one of the primary concerns when parents divorce. The idea that each parent will no longer be present for the day-to-day happenings in their child’s life is often one of the most painful adjustments parents have to make. However, Texas parents can negotiate custody agreements that focus on maintaining the bond between each parent and their child, even if the parents are no longer together.
Courts no longer favor one parent over the other
In the past, the physical custody of a child after divorce often went to the mother. Fathers, on the other hand, received visitation rights, which usually included spending time with their children every other weekend. However, currently, courts often favor shared parenting agreements.
Legal and physical custody
When courts award custody, they will focus on the legal and physical custody. Often, courts award shared legal custody to the parents, so they will need to make important decisions regarding their child’s upbringing together. This can happen, even if one parent is awarded primary physical custody and the other parent is awarded visitation. However, courts also favor some type of shared physical custody agreement, which is perceived as in the best interests of the child, unless there is a situation, such as physical or sexual abuse or substance addiction by a parent.
Before making the decision to award custody, courts will consider several factors. These include:
- The child’s age and preference
- The bond between the child and their parents
- Each parent’s ability to take care of their child’s emotional, physical and medical needs
- The child’s connections to their home, school and other physical environments
Child custody agreements should be focused on the general well-being of the child. As well, they should be crafted in a way that benefits all members of the family.