There are many reasons Texas parents may want to gain custody of their children. Yet, child custody hearings rarely go uncontested. It is important to know what you are up against in the event you choose to seek custody of your children.
Parenting plans and custody arrangements
Ideally, both parents can agree to parenting time that benefits their children. If this decision can be agreed upon informally, parents can avoid excessive time in court. The court will still be the deciding factor in whether the agreement is in the best interests of the children.
If both parents cannot mutually agree on custody, it could be decided by the court. A few factors that will determine child custody include:
- Each parent’s ability to foster a loving relationship with the other parent
- Each parent’s ability to provide necessities for the children
- Each parent’s ability to ensure a clean and safe living space for the children
Types of custody
Physical custody and legal custody are the two types of child custody. Physical custody is where the child lives, and legal custody is the ability to make decisions for for the child, such as schooling, medical care and religious practice. Parents can be granted one of the two types or both types of custody in a variety of ways. It is possible for one parent to have joint legal custody and sole physical custody, for example.
Disputed child custody
Alternative ways to help determine child custody in contested cases include using mediation, arbitration and collaborative family law. Mediation and collaborative family law are most often used and are somewhat similar in nature.
Essentially, in both, there is a third, neutral party to help parents work through their disputes to reach a decision that benefits everyone. Understanding how it works is an important first step in gaining custody of your children.