Divorce is never pleasant — even when couples try their best to minimize conflict. When either spouse approaches the process with unrealistic expectations, it can extend how long the divorce takes and increase the pressure and expense involved for everyone.
One of the most common unrealistic expectations among those considering divorce is the goal of securing sole custody of their children. They don’t want to see their ex, so they intend to ask the court to grant them sole custody. They will refuse to compromise in negotiations, only to have minimal impact on the outcome of the custody litigation.
Sole custody isn’t a common outcome in Texas family court
In most cases, a Texas family law judge won’t grant one parent sole custody just because they want it. Texas law assumes joint custody is best. The state law is explicit in establishing that shared custody arrangements are considered the best option for the children in a family going through a divorce.
It is a rebuttable presumption, meaning that either parent can present the courts with evidence and request sole custody. A judge would need to believe that granting sole custody would be better for the children than giving both parents time with the kids. Situations involving documented addiction issues, a history of negligence or criminal child abuse could all lead to a judge limiting one parent’s access to the children.
If such extreme circumstances aren’t present, then a judge is unlikely to grant one parent sole custody in a standard Texas custody case. Understanding the law for Texas custody matters will help those preparing for a divorce filing.