Although the divorce rate in Texas is relatively low, at 1.4 per 1,000 people, child custody cases can get complicated, especially when one parent is in the military. Military families often face unique challenges that civilian families do not, like unexpected deployments or frequent relocations. These factors make deciding on child custody a bit more complex.
Knowing how courts make these decisions can help you understand what to expect if you are going through this process.
Best interests of the child
Texas courts focus on what is best for the child. This means looking at which parent can provide a stable, loving environment. The court will consider things like the child’s age, physical and emotional needs and the parent’s ability to care for the child.
Impact of military service
The court also looks at how the military parent’s service affects their ability to be there for the child. This includes whether they are often away for training or deployment and how often they might have to move. The court tries to make sure that the child’s life is as stable as possible.
Temporary custody arrangements
Sometimes, the military parent might need to set up a temporary custody arrangement. This can happen when deployed or other military duties arise that take them away from home. The court can create a temporary custody plan for this time, which usually goes back to the original plan once the parent returns.
Visitation and communication
The court also tries to make sure the child keeps a good relationship with the military parent when they are away. This could mean setting up regular phone calls, video chats or visits during leave times.
Deciding child custody in Texas, where one spouse is in the military, is a process that tries to balance the unique demands of military life with the need to provide a stable, loving environment for the child. Remember, the child’s needs and well-being come first.