One of the most persistent myths about child custody is that the mother is always favored over the father. That is not the case. Texas child custody laws do not side with mothers. They do not side with fathers either. They side with one party and one party only:
The Best Interest Of The Child
In Texas, child custody is actually referred to as conservatorship. Conservatorship addresses the rights, duties and decision-making power of parents. Visitation is referred to as possession and access. It addresses physically spending time with the child.
Texas child custody laws are designed to do what is in the best interest of the child. In most cases, that means arrangements that allow the child to spend time with both parents. Typically, parents will be made joint managing conservators. This allows both parents equal say over major decisions in the child’s life, but it does not grant each parent equal time with the child. The child may spend more time with one parent or the other, and the mother is not automatically going to be the one who gets more time.
Many factors must be taken into consideration when determining how time will be split between the two parents. How old is the child? If the child custody case is part of a divorce, which parent will be staying in the family home? What does each parent’s work schedule look like? What is each parent’s current involvement in the child’s life?
That last question is often overlooked, but it can be critical. The courts and child custody laws favor continuation whenever possible. If you, as the mother, are the one having dinner with your child, taking your child to school, cheering your child on in extracurricular activities and tucking your child into bed at night, you may find the balance of time tipped in your favor depending on the other factors involved.
Protect Your Relationship With Your Child
Even if you do believe that the child custody case should be in your favor because of the amount of time you spend with your child, your work schedule and other factors, do not expect an automatic positive resolution. You may need to show the court why child conservatorship arrangements should allow you more time with your child, and that may require the help of an experienced lawyer. At Heinrich Christian, PLLC, we have the experience to guide you through this complex process and protect your relationship with your child.