When a court is contemplating which parent can best serve the interests of the children from the relationship, it considers many factors. The court may consider the relationship between each child and each parent and the relationship of the parents. It may also consider the ability of each parent to support education, religious beliefs and morality. The court can also look to which parent may best be able to provide for the financial needs of a child when deciding child custody matters. Regarding this last factor, a Texas woman may have impaired her ability to win a child custody case. The 39 year old woman from Corpus Christi pleaded guilty to failing to make her child support payments for her two children who reside in Mississippi. The two counts that she pleaded guilty to were for felony non-support of the woman's children. She received a suspended jail sentence for five years for each count that runs concurrently.
Paternity claims, maternity claims and custody fights are commonplace in Texas family courts and elsewhere, but a case in Houston may take the prize for complexity and uniqueness. A woman there wants custody of twins even though, genetically, they are not hers. The father, who is a genetic parent, says the woman was a surrogate who simply carried the babies to term. Not so, says the woman, and she wants co-parenting rights with the father who is gay and has a male partner who also wants to be part of the family. Some experts say this could be a landmark case that defines what it takes to be considered a mother.