Under Texas law, a parent that does not have the authority to designate the primary residence of a child 12 years of age or older may file a modification of conservatorship for the purpose of reviewing whether that designation should be changed.
An attorney may prepare an application for the court to interview a child 12 years of age or older regarding child’s preference of which parent should have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child. However, despite the child’s preference, it is ultimately up to the court to decide. That means that although the child may have a totally valid preference as to who they would like to live with, it is ultimately up to judge to consider a number of factors that shed light on the best interests of the child.
Below are a few tips to observe:
- Ensure you are up to date on child support. While this is not a mandatory requirement, it can be considered by the court.
- Ensure that you have a good record of following the court’s order on visitation as well as the rest of the provisions.
- Do not bribe or try to persuade your child to prefer to live with you primarily over the other parent.
- Be active in investigating how your child is doing in school and how your child is doing physically or emotionally with the intention of setting up an environment for the child that is an improvement.
A child needs two parents in their life. Parental alienation will not be tolerated by Texas courts. In fact, South Texas courts are getting tougher and tougher on this. The right thing to do is to consult an attorney well before legal action is taken to increase the probability of success.