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Figuring out who is the primary caretaker

During child custody cases in Texas, one important distinction that will be made is who is the primary caretaker for the child. This parent may then get an edge in the custody proceedings. After all, if that person was doing the most to raise the child while the couple was married, it stands to reason that he or she will be more apt to continue in this role after the divorce.

A few things that could indicate that someone was the primary caretaker include:

-- Frequently helping with grooming, dressing and bathing.-- Planning out and cooking meals for the child.-- Buying new clothes for the child and doing laundry.-- Setting up dentist appointments, doctor's appointments and making other health care arrangements.-- Helping the child join clubs, sports teams and take part in other extracurricular activities.-- Teaching the child how to write, how to read, how to do math and the like.

These are just a few examples, but many other things could be included, as well. All situations are different. Essentially, the court is just looking to see if there is a wide division of labor, where one parent is really actively helping the child grow and develop while the other is not.

This is by no means the sole factor considered. Even a parent who is not the primary caretaker can win custody for other reasons, such as when he or she provides a more stable living situation or perhaps shows that it will be easy to take on this caregiver role. However, this plays a big part, so it's important for parents to consider when trying to win custody.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Basics," accessed Oct. 23, 2015

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