Texas Child Custody and Support Guidelines:
The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration in determining custody, without regard to the sex of the parent or child. Sole or joint custody may be awarded, but presumption shall be for joint managing conservators. A finding of a history of family violence involving the parents of a child removes the presumption under this subsection. The court shall use the following factors in determining custody:
- Whether the physical, psychological, or emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from the appointment of joint managing conservators.
- The ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child's best interest.
- Whether each parent can encourage and accept a positive relationship between the child and the other parent.
- whether both parents participated in child rearing before the filing of the suit.
- The geographical proximity of the parents' residences.
- If the child is 12 years of age or older, the child's preference, if any, regarding the person to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.
- Any other relevant factor.
[Based on Texas Statutes; Family Code, Chapter 153]CHILD SUPPORT:
The court may order either or both parents to support a child in the manner specified by the order:
- Until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later.
- Until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law.
- Until the death of the child.
- If the child is disabled as defined in this chapter, for an indefinite period.
The court may order that child support be paid by periodic payments, a lump sum payment, and annuity purchase, the setting aside of property to be administered for the support of the child as specified in the order, or an combination of these methods. The court shall also order medical support for the child, as well as order income withholding to secure the payment of child support.