If you rely on a Texas court to make decisions regarding your children as you and the other parent part ways, it will use the “best interests of the children” standard to make its decisions. Even if you intend to work things out outside the courtroom, any agreement you come to will still require the approval of the court, which will still apply this standard. Understanding what this means for you during your divorce could help you and the other parent when creating a parenting plan.
Like other children, yours more than likely crave routine in order to feel secure. This is why the standard includes a review of the children’s living arrangements to ensure they provide consistency for them. The courts also want to ensure that the children are safe from both external and internal dangers.
Texas courts are aware that some change is unavoidable for children during a divorce. However, attempting to make drastic changes in many areas right away may give the court pause. This goes back to the need for consistency in the children’s lives.
Your plan needs to demonstrate that each parent has the ability to provide for the children. Even simple needs such as food and shelter may be scrutinized. You and the other parent will also need to demonstrate your physical and mental fitness to provide for the children.
Ensuring that your parenting plan meets the court’s requirements may require some assistance and guidance. In the majority of cases, the court approves parenting plans that meet the standard even if they include provisions that appear to be outside the box. You can maintain control over your parenting plan, along with other aspects of your divorce, while still meeting the legal standards applicable to your situation.
Source: thespruce.com, “Understand the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard“, Jennifer Wolf, Accessed on Aug. 20, 2017