When you and your Texas husband or wife decide to end your marriage, you need to figure out how to divide assets and debts and how to raise any children you share now that you no longer plan to live in the same home. Texas courts consider many different variables when making such decisions, and you may wonder if your child’s own wishes carry any weight in a Texas custody case.
According to the Texas State Law Library, if you or your former spouse wants the court to take your child’s custody-related preferences into account, either party may ask the court to interview your child, However, certain things must hold true in order for the court to consider your child’s wishes.
When a child’s wishes carry weight
A judge presiding over a Texas custody case is typically going to consider your child’s preferences if one of you asks him or her to do so and your child is at least 12 years of age. It is important to note, though, that while a judge may hear out a child, this does not necessarily mean the judge is going to go along with the child’s wishes. Ultimately, the judge still needs to make a custody and parenting time arrangement that serves your child’s best interests, rather than those of you or your ex.
What else a judge considers
In addition to considering your child’s wishes, if age-appropriate, the court may also consider the existing relationships between each parent and child and each parent’s proven ability to parent, among other variables.
Once a judge sets a custody order, you or your child’s other parent may be able to request a change to it if a “material and substantial change in circumstances” takes place.