When Texas parents decide to divorce, they typically understand that their decision is going to have a significant impact on their children’s lives. Many parents want to make the process as painless as possible, so they agree to file a no-fault divorce, then amicably workout the terms of their agreements. In other cases, however, an extenuating issue might prompt a concerned parent to file for sole custody of his or her children.
A parent who does so is tasked with convincing the judge overseeing the case that legitimate reasons exist for making the request. Just cause for not wanting the other parent involved to have physical or legal custody of the children in question must also be shown. In most cases, the court believes a shared custody arrangement is best for kids, so a parent might have his or her work cut out to prove otherwise.
One of the reasons a judge might be inclined to rule in favor of sole custody is if the petitioning parent proves that the other has a significant substance abuse problem. A parent who uses drugs or alcohol in excess might place his or her children at risk if the children are left in his or her care. The court would also likely consider it a safety risk if evidence showed that a parent was neglecting or abusing children.
In addition to these issues, there may also be legitimate reason for requesting sole custody if a co-parent is incarcerated or if he or she has a debilitating mental health problem. On the other hand, being angry about the divorce or wanting to take revenge against an ex by keeping the children from him or her would undoubtedly not be considered valid cause for requesting sole custody in divorce. Any Texas parent who has questions about custody laws or wishes to rely on experienced legal representation in court may request a meeting with a family law attorney before proceedings begin.