In Texas, child custody is defined two ways: legal custody and physical custody. When a parent is granted legal custody, he or she is granted the right to make decisions regarding the child’s health care, education, religion, and any other major decisions that could affect the child’s well-being now or later in life. The parent with physical custody has the right to make decisions regarding the child’s everyday needs, such as what they eat, what they wear, and what time they go to bed. When one parent is awarded sole custody of a child, that means that he or she has both legal and physical custody, and that the child has one primary residence. The other parent gets visitation rights solely.
Reasons a Texas Court Might Grant Sole Custody
When determining the outcome to a child custody case, the Texas courts keep the child’s best interests at the forefront of their minds. Typically, spending equal amounts of time with both parents is essential to a child’s emotional and developmental well-being. However, there are instances in which a court will determine that less time or even no time with a parent is in their best interest, in which case they will grant sole custody to the other parent. Under Texas Family Code, Chapter 153, Conservator, Possession and Access, Section 153.004, the court might determine a parent inadequate to care for their child under the following circumstances:
- There is a history of domestic violence and/or physical abuse;
- There is a history of child neglect;
- There is a history of sexual abuse, to either the child, other children, or the other parent; or
- There was a protective order filed against the parent in question.
There are other instances in which a court might grant sole custody to one parent and not the other that are less severe, but still as detrimental to the child’s physical and emotional health and wellbeing. These include:
- Chronic drug and alcohol abuse;
- Poor health and fitness, resulting in an inability to properly care for the child;
- A history of criminal activity; or
- Absence during a majority of the child’s life;
While any court would weigh each of the above factors heavily when determining the conservatorship of a child in Dallas, Texas, they would not consider those factors alone. They would also take into consideration the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and the current lifestyle choices of each parent. With that in mind, there are factors that a court would not take into consideration in a child custody case.
Factors a Texas Court Will Not Consider During a Sole Custody Hearing
While there is an underlying belief amongst U.S. men that the courts are biased towards women, factors that a Texas court could not consider when determining conservatorship of a child include:
- Religion; or
- Marital status.
Hire a Sole Custody Attorney
If you are filing for sole custody in Dallas, Texas for any of the reasons outlined above, you must have proof. Because of the seriousness of the accusations, you cannot simply walk into court and share your story in the hopes that the judge will believe you. To make sure that your claims are heard and taken seriously, and to make sure that your child’s best interests are met, work with a Dallas, Texas sole custody attorney to build your case and share it with the courts. At the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark And Associates, our sole custody attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through the custody process and achieve an outcome that is in your child’s best interests. Contact our office at (469) 914-5564 or online to schedule a consultation today.