If possible, it is most often preferable to carve out an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse when it comes to child custody matters. If you are able to agree, the court will almost certainly approve. If you are unable, however, to reach a meeting of the minds, the court will make the decision for you, often resulting in the displeasure of both parents.
Although this seemingly straight-forward principle is employed by the judge in rendering his or her custody decision, an Austin family lawyer can explain that in applying what is in the best interest of the child, the judge can look at essentially any factor that is relevant.
The judge will be interested in learning how each parent lives. For example, does one parent remain living in the family home? Has the other moved to a different residence and cohabitates with roommates?
Each parent’s skills in fostering a nurturing and caring environment will be assessed. Whether one parent stays in the home to care for the child versus one who works long hours is an important factor.
Typically, the opinion of children over the age of 12 will be sought by the judge and considered.
As with any legal matter, you will need to present evidence of the assertions you make if you hope to convince the court to award custody as you suggest. Your family lawyer can gather the most persuasive evidence, such as school records and medical records and friend and family testimony for example, to establish your case.
For experienced and caring counsel as you navigate through your divorce, call Nunis & Associates, an Austin family lawyer, at (512) 236-9696.