Custody issues become increasingly complex when they involve young children. During the formative early years of life, a child should build a bond with both mother and father, and child custody arrangements should reflect this fact. Custody and care giving for young children is more complex than deciding on what type of visitation each parent will receive.
In fact, Texas law allows children under age 3 to be treated differently than older children when creating child custody plans. The law provides more than a dozen factors for courts to consider when making decisions about custody for young children. They include the care the child received previously; the effect being separated from another parent might have on the child; the physical, behavior and other needs of the child; and many other factors. After age 3, the law provides that children can transition to a more standard custody and visitation schedule.
Creating a custody arrangement for children under age 3 should be designed to make sure that children have the healthiest circumstances possible for growth and development. It may require considering the children's psychological development as well as other factors. In some cases, child psychologists and other experts may need to advise parents on what might work best in their situation.
Ideally, parents can work together to understand the best interests of their children and create a creative custody agreement that allows young children to bond with both parents while providing the stability that very young children need. If disputes arise, an experienced custody attorney can help you try to resolve the dispute and advocate for you in court. A judge will need strong proof to justify child custody arrangements being requested, which an experienced attorney can explain.
- Our law firm helps parents create child custody plans for children and resolve custody disputes. For more information, read our page about custody for children under 3.