fort worth family and divorce lawyers

Role of Children in Custody Cases in Texas (2023)

Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Turner Thornton

The Role of Children in Texas Custody Cases

As a family lawyer at Varghese Summersett, I often witness the impact of a child’s role in Texas custody cases. The involvement of a child in these cases can be a sensitive and complex issue. In this article, we will discuss the role of children in custody cases in Texas, the importance of the child’s preference, and the judge’s interaction with the child.

If you have questions about the role of children in custody cases, contact the Family Law Group at Varghese Summersett today.

Texas Family Code and Custody Cases

The Texas Family Code governs child custody cases and outlines the factors judges consider in determining the child’s best interests. Understanding the legal framework is essential for navigating a custody case successfully. For more information about custody cases in Texas, visit our child custody page.

Best Interests of the Child

In Texas custody cases, judges must make decisions based on the child’s best interests. Factors considered by judges include:

Child Interviews in Custody Fights

In some cases, a judge may decide to interview a child in a custody fight. This interview aims to gather information about the child’s preferences, feelings, and wishes regarding custody. This interview can be a crucial factor in the judge’s decision.

Age Requirement for Child’s Preference

In Texas, there is no specific age requirement for a child’s preference to be considered in custody cases. However, Texas Family Code Section 153.009 states that the court shall interview a child who is 12 years or older. The judge may still consider their preference for younger children, but it is at the judge’s discretion.

Judge Interaction with Child

A judge must follow specific procedures and considerations when interacting with a child in a custody case. The judge typically conducts the interview in the judge’s office or another suitable location. The interview is recorded, and both parties may have access to the recording. The judge may also appoint an attorney ad litem, a professional who represents the child’s interests, to assist in the process.

What is an Attorney Ad Litem in Texas?

An attorney ad litem in Texas is a court-appointed attorney who represents the best interests of a child or an incapacitated person in legal proceedings, such as child custody or guardianship cases. The attorney ad litem is responsible for conducting an independent investigation, gathering relevant information, and advocating for the best interests of the person they represent. Their role is to protect the person’s rights and welfare throughout the legal process.

role of children in custody cases

Child’s Preference in Custody Cases

The child’s preference can significantly impact the outcome of a custody case. However, the judge will always prioritize the child’s best interests over the child’s preference. In some cases, the judge may determine that the child’s preference is not aligned with their best interests and may decide custody accordingly.

Can a Texas Judge Require a Child to Choose a Parent in a Divorce Case?

No, a Texas judge cannot force a child to choose a parent during a divorce. While the court may consider a child’s preference in determining custody arrangements, the judge ultimately makes the decision based on the child’s best interests. The judge will weigh various factors, including the child’s age, maturity, emotional well-being, and the parent’s ability to provide a stable and loving environment. The role of children in custody cases, including the child’s preference, is just one of many factors the judge will consider, and it is not the sole determinant in a custody decision.

What if there are multiple children and they have different parent preferences?

If multiple children have different parent preferences in a custody case, the court will consider each child’s preference individually, along with other factors, to determine the best custody arrangement for each child. The judge’s primary concern is each child’s best interests. The court will evaluate factors such as the child’s age, emotional and physical needs, the stability of each parent’s home, and the parent’s ability to provide a nurturing environment. The judge will make a custody determination for each child based on the unique circumstances and factors involved, even if it means splitting siblings between the parents in some cases.

Need Help with Your Child Custody Case? Call Us Today.

Are you facing a custody case and need guidance on how to navigate the complexities of child preferences and judge interactions?

The role of children in custody cases in Texas can be scary and confusing.

To set up a consultation today with our attorneys at Varghese Summersett, call us at 817-900-3220 or contact us online.

FAQ: Role of Children in Custody Cases in Texas

In Texas, a child who is 12 years or older can express their preference in a custody case. However, the judge has the final decision and will consider the child’s best interests above all else.

While not required, a judge in Texas has the discretion to interview a child in a custody case. The judge may consider the child’s age, maturity, and reasons for their preference when making the final custody decision.

A child’s preference can influence the judge’s decision in a custody case, but it is not the sole factor. The judge will consider the child’s best interests and other factors such as each parent’s ability to provide a stable and loving environment.

While a child’s preference can be considered in custody cases, the final decision lies with the judge. The child’s preference may be taken into account, but it is not the only factor in determining custody.

A child’s preference can be communicated to the court through an amicus attorney, attorney ad litem, or a child custody evaluator. The judge may also interview the child privately to understand their preference.

Yes, a judge can disregard a child’s preference if they believe it is not in the child’s best interests. The judge will evaluate multiple factors before making a custody decision.Content

A child’s preference can be considered in a custody modification case. However, a substantial change in circumstances must be demonstrated for the court to consider modifying the existing custody order.

To have the child’s preference considered, a parent can request it through their attorney or file a motion with the court. The court will then determine if an interview with the child or input from a child custody evaluator is necessary.

Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton is a well-known family law attorney in Fort Worth who leads the Varghese Summersett Family Law Group. Turner has successfully guided hundreds of individuals and families through the most trying period of their lives as a skilled negotiator and savvy litigator. Turner Thornton concentrates his practice on family law, including divorce, child custody, contempt, and modification cases. He is experienced in handling estates with significant and unique assets that can be difficult to value. He finds amicable resolutions where possible to conserve his client's resources, but knows how to take the gloves off if the situation calls for it. He has had remarkable results in and outside of the courtroom based largely on his ability and desire to understand his clients' needs and guide them on the pathway to what success looks like for them.

Leave a Reply

Table of Contents

Schedule a Consultation


Subscribe to our newsletter.