Originally published by Robert Epstein.
In Texas custody cases, the best interests of the child are the primary consideration, and the court uses broad discretion in determining them. If the court finds it is in the child’s best interest to do so, it may limit a parent’s visitation with the child or increase a parent’s time with the child, but only if certain conditions are met. A father recently challenged a court’s order that he would have to complete a Battering Intervention and Prevention Program before the possession schedule could change.
The parents lived together with the child until the mother moved out of the home. The father filed suit, asking to be named joint-managing conservator and to have the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence. A jury found the parents should be joint-managing conservators. Although the jury gave the father the exclusive right to designate residence, it placed a geographic restriction on that right.
When the court issued the order, it left the temporary orders for possession in place until the father finished a Battering Intervention and Prevention Program. The mother was granted the exclusive right to consent to invasive medical procedures, make decisions regarding the child’s education, and possess the child’s passport. The father requested findings of fact and conclusions of law, then appealed.
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