While Texas does have standards that say judges should always rule based on what is in the best interest of the child, a limited study from the National Family Law Policy Center, found that most rulings follow a minimum standard. This means that if you end up not getting custody of your child, you could have very limited time to actually spend with your child. This is something to become familiar with, especially if you are heading into a custody case.
The main discovery was that most judges are using something call the Standard Possession Order to make rulings. This order is the minimum guidelines for adjudicated custody. It offers only minimal time to non-custodial parents. The law does not say judges should use this standard just that it offers the minimal rulings a judge can make. Ideally, judges should make rulings on each case individually.
Why judges use this standard is not completely clear. However, it is thought that one reason is that it helps to move cases along faster. Family courts are always busy, so it is not surprising that judges would want to find the most efficient methods and stick with them. The downside, obviously, is that while your case may move quick, you and your child could lose out.
Another issue that may prompt judges to follow the standard too closely is that the idea of what is in the best interest of a child is very vague. There is no solid definition. It is left up the interpretation of the court. This can make it hard for a judge to feel as if he or she is making fair decisions. This information is for education and is not legal advice.