There are many urban myths in family law, and whether a child can choose which parent to live with is one of the most persistent matters in a divorce.
A child’s best interests are the primary focus of Texas family law and do not specify a specific age for a child’s right to choose. As a result, it is not accurate to say that when a child reaches 12 years old they will have the right to choose which parent to live with. Texas family code accounts for a child’s opinion no matter the age.
Split Custody Schedules
Most divorces have children spending split time with each of their parents. There are many schedules available, and often, what works when a child is in elementary school may not work in middle school or high school.
The biggest issues that are cited when a child expresses that they would prefer to spend more time with a particular parent involve access to electronics, cars, supervision of homework, and extracurricular activities (sports). One or the other parent may place more weight on homework and grades, while the other parent may feel that sports and extracurriculars are more important. There isn’t any right or wrong approach and ultimately depends on the needs of the child.
Custody Schedules for Children Above The Age of 16
By the time a child begins to drive, visitation schedules often go by the wayside. The teen can spend time with either parent or instead use that time for personal relationships. Both parents usually experience a loss of control of their child’s schedule and unequal time with each parent could occur. Parents should practice the best communication with each other to assure the child’s best interests are looked after.
Parents may not always agree with each other over punishments for broken rules in one or the other household. If both parents cannot agree on a single approach, at least each household should be consistent in what is or is not acceptable behavior, and what are appropriate punishments.
There are always cases in which your child may begin to go down paths that might lead to harm. Drugs, sex, and risky behavior are best addressed with a unified front from both households. However, filing a lawsuit is not always the best way to address these issues. It isn’t always possible for both parents to agree on a course of action.
Seek Legal Aid
Divorce matters are important and often call for the need of an attorney to ensure that the needs of the children and parents are taken care of in an appropriate way. If you need legal assistance, contact the experienced Vaught Law Firm today to get the representation you deserve.