best interests of the child factors for texas

Unlike most states that use the term custody, Texas uses the term conservatorship, and to define the parent with visitation the state uses the term possessory conservatorship.

Under the law, Texas Courts considers 7 best interest of the child factors when it assigns Joint Managing Conservatorship or a single parent Sole Managing Conservatorship.

When deciding visitation the Texas Courts must consider 4 factors when it determines if it will assign a parent the Possessory Conservator.

Joint Managing Conservatorship / Sole Managing Conservatorship

  1. Whether the physical, psychological, or emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from the appointment of joint managing conservators
  2. The ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest.
  3. Whether each parent can encourage and accept a positive relationship between the child and the other parent.
  4. Whether both parents participated in child rearing before the filing of the suit.
  5. The geographical proximity of the parents’ residences.
  6. If the child is 12 years of age or older, the child’s preference, if any, regarding the person to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.
  7. Any other relevant factor.

Under the statute, the Court may not award the parents joint managing conservatorship if there is any domestic violence, child abuse or child neglect.

Possessory Conservatorship

  1. The age, circumstances, needs, and best interests of the child.
  2. The circumstances of the parents.
  3. Evidence of any spouse or child abuse.
  4. Any other relevant factor.

Texas Family Code, Title 5, Subtitle B, Chapter 153, Section 153.134