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In Divorce or Modification

The following is a list of areas and factors, both positive and negative, which may be involved in any family law case. It is highly unlikely that any one factor would be the foundation for a successful custody case, and some alone are definitely is sufficient. They are submitted to be reviewed as a guide or aid when you are considering your case. Each case is unique to those individuals involved and must be considered and handled according to the special facts and circumstances relating to that case.


Begin by being honest with yourself as to why you want to be the managing conservator of your child(ren)

  1. Enjoy being with the child(ren);
  2. Guilt;
  3. Desire to child(ren) as much as possible;
  4. Frustration;
  5. Hurt/spite regarding spouse or ex-spouse;
  6. Force spouse into a favorable property division;
  7. Fear for child(ren) well-being if in custody of another;
  8. Feeling that spouse doesn really want the child(ren).

There are many additional reasons, but first and foremost must be that it is in the BEST INTEREST OF THE child(ren) with regard to:

  1. Emotional/mental stability;
  2. Physical well-being;
  3. Spiritual well-being;
  4. Education-now and in the future;
  5. Economic/financial stability.


  1. Love for child(ren) and desire for full-time responsibility for them.
  2. Ability to support future family.
  3. Earning capacity; to provide for future education, etc.
  4. Trust funds, annuities, savings plans, life insurance, other investments providing for child(ren)future financial security.
  5. Ability to finance litigation (cost of experts, investigators, out-of-town witnesses, court costs, subpoenas, depositions, etc.)
  6. Provide good home environment for child(ren).
  7. Available quality time to spend with child(ren).
  8. Ability to provide for childcare with accredited facility.
  9. Provide child(ren)with spiritual training.
  10. Proper citizenship model and sexual model.
  11. Moral fitness: Possess a sense of right and wrong, and importance of telling the truth, respect for another person and property.
  12. Instilling these values in child(ren).
  13. Desire to keep lines of communication open with other parent, if possible; realization that child(ren) need support of both parents.
  14. Secure in career; willing to dedicate hours of each day to V.
  15. Ability to provide for present and future medical needs of the child(ren).
  16. Continually evidences that custody of child(ren) is very important and shows concern for child(ren) welfare.
  17. Being present when child is ill.
  18. Continues regular visitation if not managing conservator.
  19. Continues regular/adequate support of child if not managing conservator.
  20. Makes frequent phone calls to keep in touch with child(ren) if not managing conservator.
  21. Enjoys doing things for child(ren).
  22. Sensitivity to child(ren) feelings about friends, personal possessions those things important to child(ren).
  23. Stability and performance of present employment and home environment.
  24. Stable and happy remarriage.
  25. Support/positive statements from family, friends, pastors, teachers, etc.
  26. Participation with child in recreational activities.
  27. Interest in child(ren) school work; attendance/participation at PTA, scout meetings, extracurricular sports, youth groups, etc.
  28. Quality time spent at home as a "family".
  29. Supervision of child(ren); provides adequate and consistent discipline.
  30. Concerned with and willing to work with other parent regarding child(ren) health, school work, physical and emotional growth.
  31. Having a goal for the child(ren) future.


  1. Inadequate child care/supervision of child(ren).
  2. Poor or unstable work/credit history; unemployment.
  3. Inability to budget money effectively.
  4. Making inflammatory statements about spouse/ex-spouse to child(ren) or others; alienation of affection; trying to turn child(ren) away from the other parent.
  5. Emotionally weak or unstable, depressed or neurotic; unable to cope with stress or emergency situations; immature.
  6. Career/job takes up excessive amount of available time.
  7. Frequent, n-job-related moves; not providing a stable home environment.
  8. Always/changing lifestyle; going on tangents; many different jobs; fanatical religious cults, etc.
  9. Intention to remarry right away; potential step-parent problems.
  10. Intention to leave county, state, or county where other parent/relatives will be residing after custody is determined.
  11. Excessive drinking, use of drugs, using abusive or profane language in presence of child(ren).
  12. Always leaving child with babysitters/relatives for purely social reasons.
  13. Successive marriages.
  14. Living with a man/woman not a spouse.
  15. Exercises poor judgement with respect to child(ren) emotional and physical needs.
  16. Personal criminal record or association with persons having a criminal record.
  17. Allows or is the cause of the child(ren) to truant/tardy at school, poor grades; failing to cooperate with school personnel.
  18. Physical/sexual abuse of the child(ren).
  19. Neglect/abandonment of child(ren); refection. Not providing child(ren)with care and comfort; not providing basic needs-proper meals, adequate and clean clothes, medical attention and shelter.
  20. Bad moral reputation in community where resides.
  21. Perversion or deviant sexual behavior; incest.
  22. Serious mental illness; paranoid tendencies; suicide attempts.
  23. Metes out overly severe punishment without cause; cruel teasing.
  24. Failure to show interest or participate in family activities with child(ren); hobbies, sports, friends.
  25. Home unclean and not safe for children.


  1. "Pictures are worth a thousand words." Photos of family situations, proposed home (inside and out), school, church, child(ren) in various situations-with future "family", at play, etc.
  2. Statements and testimony from friends, acquaintances, relatives, investigators, etc., regarding how you and the child interact, positive nature of your relationship with the child(ren), your credentials and abilities to be a good parent, dependability, ability to discipline, etc.
  3. Continue/become a source of stability for your child(ren)during this period.
  4. Read books; talk to others; discuss with your attorney, pastor, of consequences of a custody suit; try to view the situation from you child(ren) perspective.
  5. Keep a diary and include in it all the positive aspects which you want to be considered in your case.
  6. Abide by and obey any temporary or other Court orders in your case.


  1. Physical appearance of each parent (and present spouse, if any).
  2. Ability to verbalize feelings and desires for child(ren) to others.
  3. Desire to do what is best for the child(ren); trying to make own personal feelings secondary to what is best for the child(ren).
  4. Ability to express love and caring feelings to the child(ren).
  5. Age of child(ren) in question.
  6. Access of each parent to tangible evidence to prove up facts of the case.
  7. Ability to provide more material items for child(ren).
  8. Use of private investigator, cost of investigation; types of results.
  9. Visits between your attorney, you and child(ren) to obtain insights to interrelationship.
  10. Knowledge that family lawsuits are almost always a drain emotionally; the strongest person emotionally has the initial advantage.
  11. Career desire of parent vs. needs/desires of child(ren).
  12. Child(ren)'s preference as to managing conservator. (NEVER put child(ren) in the position of having to choose or say which parent (s)he "loves the most). If child(ren) expresses a preference, acknowledges it, but don force the issue.
  13. Child(ren)'s fear, unhappiness, nervousness, present mental/physical state.
  14. Quality of relationships child(ren) have established in existing or proposed custodial home, including relationships with siblings or any other person having a bearing in child(ren) best interest.
  15. Exhibition by child(ren) of being injuriously affected, physically and/or emotionally, by neglect or abandonment; child(ren) showing signs of serious or future mental illness as a result of neglect/ indifference.
  16. Problems with new or proposed stepbrothers or stepsisters.
  17. Race.
  18. Present residence (out of state).
  19. Potential for separation of siblings.
  20. Present standard of living compared with prior period (especially in modifications).
  21. Acquisition of expert to or documentary evidence regarding you or other parent from: Welfare agencies, court investigation, social workers, probation officers, juvenile officers, police/sheriff department, guardian counseling or otherwise), physicians, etc., and obtaining their favorable recommendations.

Fathers For Equal Rights is such a great help to people in need!
  -- Joe & Rachel B. - Fort Worth, TX

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