Children under the age of three have specific needs, especially when it comes to their parents’ divorce. Children in this age group are in their formative years. A lot of growth and brain development happens during this time. They also lack the independence that older children have, and as a result, they require specific and focused care. Attachment to their caregivers matters immensely during these ages. Routine disruptions can have a lasting impact if they’re not handled correctly. Children under three may also have limited understanding during their parents’ divorce case. You can explain the basics of divorce to a six-year-old, but a two-year-old is unlikely to grasp the concept.
With all these facts in mind, Texas custody law has evolved from the Tender Years Doctrine. The Tender Years Doctrine began a few centuries ago in England. The Doctrine argued that the best caregiver for a child is that child’s mother. It started a precedent for maternal custody.
Doing What’s Best for Your Child
Texas law does not officially use the Tender Years Doctrine in custody cases. However, it does use some principles from the Doctrine for deciding on the possession and access of young children. Specifically, it recognizes that young children have different needs than older children. As a result, custody arrangements may be structured to fit the child’s best interests. For example, most custody arrangements have the children spend every other weekend with the non-primary caregiver. However, if a child is under the age of three or special circumstances related to a child exist, then the judge may come up with alternate arrangements. As a matter of fact, a judge will keep several factors in mind when determining custody arrangements for children, including the child’s primary caregiver, the willingness of both parents to meet the child’s needs, the presence of siblings, and other factors.
Contact Us For More Info About the Tender Years Doctrine
Custody arrangements can get complicated, but the right legal counsel can make a big difference. At Moran Law Firm, PLLC, we keep your child’s best interests at heart. If you have a child under the age of three, then you’ll want to do what’s best for that child and make this transition as smooth as possible. We’re always here to answer your questions about child custody and Texas family law. Do you need legal advice? Contact us at Moran Law Firm, PLLC, today.