Does child custody change when one child goes to college?

Divorce can be devastating. Once you establish child custody, you and your family find a way to reach a new sense of normalcy.

Having a child starting college can be an exciting time. Now that one of your children is getting ready for college, it will be time to consider how things will change as you and your other children adjust to a member of your family being away at college.

Here’s what the court will consider when reconsidering child custody.

Age of the remaining children

In addition to one child starting college, your other children are now older and may have more of a say in which parent they live with. In Texas, once children reach age 12, the court gives more weight to their preferences.

While other children may not be old enough for the court to consider their opinion, the court’s decision could impact them as well. It is essential to represent the interest of both you and your children when it is time to reconsider child custody.

Best interests

Just like when the court considered child custody at the beginning of your divorce, the court will ultimately look to the children’s best interest, including:

  • Stability of the custodial parent’s living situation
  • Other members of the household
  • Physical and emotional needs of the child
  • The current condition of the parent-child relationship

The court wants children to be in stable environments and to be able to spend time with both parents as much as possible.

While it may be challenging to change your parenting time, it may be beneficial to your children to take another look at child custody now that one of your children will be away at college.


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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

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