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Can a Child Choose the Custodial Parent?

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child custody lawyer, Texas complex custody lawyerIn Texas, courts are sometimes willing to take a child’s opinion about where he or she wants to live into consideration when resolving a divorce-related matter. However, the primary focus of all family law judges is the best interests of the child, which means that they will not always take a child’s opinion into account when determining a custody schedule. To speak with an experienced complex child custody attorney about your concerns or questions, please contact a member of our legal team today.

Custody Arrangements

Texas courts presume that it is usually in the best interests of a child to split custody evenly between two parents. This means that parents will have equal decision-making authority and will split physical custody 50/50. The specific schedule, however, will depend on the parties’ circumstances. Custody schedules can also be modified at a later date, which is often necessary when a child enters high school and does not require the same amount of supervision. At this point, judges are also often willing to consider a child’s preferences, which may have changed from when he or she was younger.

Best Interests of the Child

One of the factors that judges are required to consider when determining what is in the best interests of a child is the child’s custodial preference. Generally, there is no age limit at which courts must begin taking a child’s opinion into account. However, courts will only consider a child’s custodial preference if it deems the minor sufficiently mature. The older a child is, the more likely a court is to weigh his or her opinion when making a ruling.

If one of the parents requests it, the court must interview a child, but only if he or she is 12 years of age or older. During the interview, the judge will ask the child where he or she wishes to live and require an explanation for the preference. If a parent does not request this type of interview, a child can go ahead and file paperwork with the court explaining his or her preference. Even when a court takes a child’s preference into account, it will only be considered one factor among many others.

In almost all cases, children will not be asked to testify about their custodial preferences in open court, which can be extremely stressful and even traumatic. Instead, the court will interview them privately.

Call a Member of Our Leander Legal Team Today

Child custody matters are important and complex and having the support and guidance of an experienced Leander child custody attorney can ensure that a child’s needs are met. If you need legal assistance with your own custody-related issue, please contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC to get the representation you and your child deserve.



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