In Texas, children of a certain age have the option to tell the court which parent they would like to live with.
Specifically, the law has a process under which a child at least 12 years old can tell his or her wishes to the judge. The judge may also choose to interview a child under 12.
The judge may consider this interview when making decisions about conservatorship and possession, which are Texas’s legal terms for custody or parenting time.
A child’s wishes do not have to be honored
However, as the law itself makes clear, a judge is never forced to make a decision that is consistent with what the child wants.
Like other states, Texas courts first and foremost have to decide what is in the best interests of the children. They consider a number of factors when doing so.
If in the court’s final analysis, it is in the best interest of the children not to respect a child’s wishes, the court will not enter a conservatorship and or possession order just to please the child.
There is a way to fight back against the Disneyland Parent
On a practical level, this means that concerned parents in the Houston area have options when dealing with a so-called Disneyland Dad or Disneyland Mom.
It is frustrating when one parent is giving teens or older school-aged children everything they want while at the same trying to portray the more responsible parent as the bad parent.
However, parents in this situation should know that, even if their child, unsurprisingly, says that they want to live with the Disneyland parent, they still have the ability to present evidence and arguments that this is not in their children’s best interests.