As a Texas parent, it’s understandable that you consider your children’s best interests before making major life decisions, especially those that you know will have a significant impact on them. Deciding to divorce may have been one of the most life-changing decisions you’ll ever make. If you’re heading to court to litigate child custody issues, you’ll want to make sure your children’s best interests are a central focus of all proceedings.

Every state has its own child custody regulations and guidelines. It’s helpful to speak with someone you know who has navigated the family court system for similar issues in Texas. It is also helpful to discuss your case with someone who is well-versed in legal matters pertaining to divorce and custody issues.

What to expect when one files a petition for sole custody

If your spouse requests sole custody of your children, you may have a battle on your hands to convince the court that you deserve to have custody of your kids. In short, litigation over sole custody means that the judge overseeing your case must determine which parent would be the better choice when the goal is to do what is best for the children.

Issues such as what you do for a living, what your level of income is, how closely your lifestyle post-divorce would be to what your children were accustomed to when you were married and, perhaps, even where you live, or how big or small your house is may be factors of consideration the judge will take into account before handing down a decision. You would have to prepare to convince the court that you would be the best choice as a sole custody parent.

Avoid emotional outbursts in the courtroom

No matter how much your ex provokes you or how upset you might get hearing what he or she tells the judge, if you hope to win a child custody case, you need to be in control of your emotions. Emotional or angry outbursts disrupt the legal process, and the court may frown about them.

Just as there are certain ways you should and should not act during a job interview, for instance, there is a particular etiquette expected in a courtroom. If your spouse is baiting you and trying to get you to lose your cool, it might be a tactic he or she believes will help him or her win the case.

Never hesitate to reach out for additional support

Navigating child custody litigation is stressful. You don’t have to go it alone. If you have a friend or family member who has gone through similar experiences, just talking things over with him or her before heading to court can be a source of comfort and encouragement.

Many concerned parents also rely heavily on experienced legal representation, so they have someone advocating on their behalf in court, which is a great way to avoid confrontation.