The love that you have for your children may be one of the most powerful emotions that you will ever experience and also one of the strongest motivations in your life. When you face a possible divorce or separation from the other parent, you will likely feel worried that the end of your relationship will impact your relationship with the children as well.
Before you let nightmare scenarios where you lose custody dictate your plans for the future, it is wise to learn a little more about how the Texas family courts handle custody when parents go their separate ways.
For the most part, judges want parents to share custody because that will be what is best for the children. There are only a handful of situations in which a judge would agree that sole custody is the appropriate solution.
When one parent doesn’t want parenting time
Given that you would do anything for your children and worry about losing your time with them, it may surprise you to learn that sole custody arrangements are frequently the result of one parent not asking for parenting time or custody.
Allowing a divorce by default to occur due to depression or giving up parental rights are both reasons why one parent could obtain sole custody of their children.
When there are health issues
Sometimes, one of the parents has a severe medical issue that affects their ability to parent. Someone with epilepsy or a parent going through chemotherapy treatment, for example, may not be able to meet all of the needs of the children because of their own medical issues.
Mental health issues, ranging from depression to addiction, can also affect custody decisions. The parent seeking sole custody would need evidence of the medical issue and also of its impact on someone’s parenting.
When there are issues with instability or abuse
Sometimes there isn’t a medical diagnosis but there is still evidence that one parent cannot provide a stable situation for the children. Perhaps they have no place to live, no vehicle and no job. If there has been a history of abuse or neglect in a family, medical records or police reports helping validate those claims might lead the courts to give one parent sole custody for the safety and well-being of the children.
If none of these situations apply in your case, then you likely don’t have reason to worry about totally losing access to your children. Pursuing shared custody will help ensure that your bond with the children remains strong.