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Looking at how child custody determinations are made in Texas, P.1

Child custody is one of the most important issues couples deal with in the divorce process. Dividing assets and debts is another critical aspect of divorce, but the impact of a family breakup on the children involves more than just the interests of the parents and needs to be carefully handled.

In the best divorce cases, couples will be able to work through their differences privately and come up with a mutually satisfactory custody and parenting time agreement that is approved by the court. In other cases, couples will have serious disagreements that require the intervention of the court, and may have problems later on with following through on court orders. In such cases, it is particularly important for a parent to have strong advocacy

In the context of child custody cases, advocacy is a little different than it is for purposes of dealing with the division of a couple’s assets and debts. In financial matters, an attorney directly represents the interests of the party in achieving a correct division of assets. In child custody cases, though, advocacy is always based on the best interests of the children. While parties do have parental rights to their children, judges look at custody decisions in terms of what is best for the children.

Under Texas law, the presumption is that joint custody is in the best interest of the children, unless there is some reason to think otherwise, such as a history of family violence or abuse. In our next post, we’ll take a look at some of the factors judges take into account when determining whether joint conservatorship is the best arrangement for children. 

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