One of the most common myths about child custody, perhaps particularly in Texas, is the belief that the courts always favor the mother. While this may have been true to some extent in the past, this is not true anymore.
However, there are things that both parents can do to increase their chances of a favorable child custody outcome.
Child custody factors
Like most other states, Texas family courts follow the, “best interest of the child” standard in making child custody decisions. Essentially, this means that the court looks to make a child custody decision that is in the best interest of the child. To make that decision, courts use a variety of factors, looking at each parent’s stability, physical, financial, emotional and mental well-being.
Getting the best child custody outcome
As you can tell from the prior paragraph, the way that you can ensure you have the best possible child custody outcome is doing things that will put your custody in the best interests of the child. And, there are several things that you can do to demonstrate this.
First, show the court that you can work with your ex-spouse. This is done by being cooperative and respectful, even when they are not.
Second, show the court that you can work with the court and will follow the judge’s guidance and orders. Follow all of the court orders and temporary agreements, even if you do not agree with them, and be cordial and pleasant in court.
Third, be a consistent and positive presence in your children’s lives. This means going to sporting events and other extracurricular activities, going to family therapy, ensuring they make their doctor’s appointments and make sure they are at school on time and ready to learn when in your custody. The key is you want to paint a picture that when your kids are with you, they are at their best.
If you attend events, make sure you have photographs. If your spouse missed events, if you have proof, keep it. Document everything that would show that your parentage and custody is in the best interest of the child.