When does Texas law allow one parent to secure sole custody?
Determining custody of your children may be one of the most emotional and intense parts of your upcoming divorce. Both you and your spouse love your children and probably want to be with them as much as possible. However, love is not the only thing necessary to be a good parent. Patience and time are all also crucial elements for good parenting.
Even when one parent isn’t perfect, the Texas family courts will expect both parents to be active in the lives of the kids. They will try to uphold the best interests of the children by preserving both parents’ relationships with their children. Only in very rare cases will judges decide that sole custody for one parent is what’s best for the children.
Why might the courts limit the access of one parent?
Perhaps the most obvious reason that the courts would assign most responsibilities for the children to one parent is abuse. When one parent has been physically, emotionally or sexually abusive toward the children and their spouse has proof come on that information can compel the court to limit the abusive parent’s time with the children.
Neglect can also inspire uneven divisions of parenting time. Evidence that shows a history of concerning substance abuse or a current issue with mental health could also influence whether the involvement of an unstable parent is in the best interests of the children. Only in situations where the courts have reason to believe that one parent could cause harm to the children directly or indirectly through negligence will they typically give the other parent has sole custody.
Understanding what guides custody decisions can help you set realistic custody goals and work towards them in your Texas divorce.