Legal Term of the Week: Custody

Custody refers to the legal arrangements for which a child will live with and how decisions about the child will be made. Custody has two parts: legal and physical. Legal custody is the decision-making part: physical custody refers to where the child lives on a regular basis. Generally, the parent the child does not live with will be allowed to have regular visits with the child. Parents can make any custodial arrangement that is in the best interest of their children. It is the policy of the State of Texas to assure children will have frequent and continuing contact with both parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child. Factors taken into consideration may include:

  • The age and health of each parent.
  • The age and health of the child.
  • The child’s educational needs, higher education notwithstanding.
  • The desire on the part of each parent to have sole or joint custody.
  • The employment stability and potential of each parent.
  • The financial resources of each parent and that of the child’s.
  • The impact on each parent maintaining two households.
  • The income and earning capabilities of each parent.
  • The possibility of the child obtaining employment.
  • The tax liabilities of each parent.
  • The willingness both parents demonstrate to allow visitation.
Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III is a Houston Family Law Attorney and creator of The Guide to Good Divorce seminars for women. If you have questions about your Houston divorce, please contact The Law Office of Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III, P.C. for a consultation.

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