Joint or sole custody (also known as managing conservatorship) is decided based on what would be best for the child or children. It is not always the case, but the wishes of the children may be considered. Some of the factors which the court considers when deciding which parent or parents have custody and how visitation is handled include:
- The age, needs and other best interests of the child or children
- Circumstances and living arrangements of each of the parents
- Any evidence of spousal or child abuse that has taken place
- Some of the factors considered when deciding on joint managing conservatorship include
- Whether the child would have his or her physical, psychological and emotional needs met by the situation
- The ability of parents to reach shared decisions on the children's’ best interests and keep the welfare of children the number one priority
- Whether the parents can each accept the relationship between the child and the other parent
- How the parents participated in the care and decision making of child rearing before the divorce proceedings began
- Where the homes of both parents are located geographically
- Preferences of the child or children if they are age 12 or older
- Other relevant factors
The court may not be inclined to award joint custody if there is provable evidence of child abuse, spousal abuse or neglect. In the case of a Texas Online Divorce, parents will file the paperwork in agreement with the court regarding joint custody. The court may choose to award joint custody based on a consensus of the two parties if the agreement was entered into voluntarily and knowingly and includes:
- Establishment of county-of-residence for the children
- States both the rights and duties parents regarding present and future care, support, and education of the child or children
- Includes provisions that will prevent or minimize disruption schooling and daily routine
- Provisions to ensure it Is in the best interests of the child
- Standard terms in place to assure that the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child will still be able to spend at least a minimum allowable amount of time with the children.
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