A court should consider a number of factors in deciding a Texas custody case. Even when the court determines the parents should be joint managing conservators, the court does not have to award equal periods of possession and access to the child to each parent. Tex. Fam. Code § 153.135. Under Texas law, there is a rebuttable presumption that the standard possession order serves the child’s best interests. Tex. Fam. Code § 153.252. A father recently challenged the divorce decree giving the mother the right to designate the child’s primary residence and awarding him the standard possession order.
Trial Court Initially Awards Father Primary Custody
According to the appeals court’s opinion, the parties’ child was born about three months after they married in 2014. The parties separated in 2016 and the mother petitioned for divorce in March 2017. The court signed temporary order giving the father the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence in Travis County.
At the custody hearing, there was evidence the mother had sustained a serious brain injury the previous year. There was significant testimony about her mental health before and after the separation and about how her injury affected her ability to take care of the child.