The court will decide what is in the “best interest” of the child, which takes into consideration a large number of factors. Possession and access is the term when the parents have physical custody of the children or when they can visit with the children. Texas has two possession schedules: standard and extended standard. These schedules dictate the time each parent spends with the child. The court can order the custody schedule based on the best interest of the child or the parties can agree on different possession and access schedules based on their schedules.
The rate of support or whether or not a parent has to pay child support depends on what the court determines to the best interest of the child. In determining the best interests of the child, the court will consider a wide array of factors including:
- physical and emotional needs
- physical and emotional danger
- stability of home
- plans for child
- cooperation between parents
- parenting skills
- who was the child's primary caregiver
- the child's preferences if the child is 12 or older
- geographic proximity of the children
- keeping siblings together
- false reports of child abuse
- and fitness of each parent (including abuse, physical force and family violence).
Usually the parent who is given the right to designate the primary residence and/or has possession and access to the child the majority of the time is the recipient of child support.