How to File for Full Child Custody in Texas: Step by Step
Raising children is a rewarding experience, but can be difficult when another parent is involved. Knowing the process of winning full custody in Texas can help make it easier to navigate the complexities of parenting during and after separation. While there is no particular term for “full custody” in the Texas Family Code, most commonly this means receiving primary physical custody of children. To win full custody, both parents must understand Texas's legal requirements and create an arrangement that works in everyone's best interest.
When filing for full custody, parents need to demonstrate that they have considered the underlying dynamics of their own family. Factors such as the child's age and maturity level, any past or pending criminal charges against either parent, mental health issues, and substance abuse problems should all be taken into consideration before filing a petition. It is also important to prove that the other parent has done something wrong or demonstrate why it would be better for your child if you received custodial authority over them. In some cases, mediation can result in a more successful agreement than court proceedings. No matter what route you take to gain available custodial rights, consulting with an experienced attorney can help ensure success in court.Basic Parental Rights in Texas
In Texas, parents generally have the right to be involved in their child's legal matters, health, education, morals, religion, relationships, and place of residence. They are additionally obligated to provide support and take responsibility for their child.
When a couple separates, Texas aims for both parents to share these rights and responsibilities so that both parents remain active participants in raising the child. If circumstances arise where a single parent can provide a better home environment for the child – such as due to neglect or abuse from the other parent – steps can be taken by that parent to establish sole custody over the minor. In any case, involving custody disputes between the two parents of minors in Texas should always involve consultation with a trained attorney before attempting any legal action.How to Get Full Custody?
Texas is a common law state, which means that if an unmarried man and woman have a child together, the mother automatically has full parental rights and responsibilities. However, when it comes to divorce or separation, the custodial arrangement can be painful and contentious. In Texas, if you are seeking full custody of your children, it’s important to understand your legal options and how best to present your case in court.
In Texas family law, there are two types of custody: physical and legal. Sole physical custody means the children will reside with one parent full-time. If one parent has sole legal custody, they have exclusive decisions over major matters such as healthcare consent and support payments. Presenting convincing evidence that it's in the child's best interest is important for obtaining full custody in Texas. Therefore, it's advisable to compile a strong legal package when seeking this outcome.How to File for Full Custody?
If you’re looking to file for full custody in Texas, you have two paths open to you. The first is filing for sole custody, where only one parent holds custody rights. If the other parent contests it, you’ll need to build a substantial case that demonstrates why it is best for your child’s needs and interests that only one of you has legal rights. You must also submit information about your lifestyle and parenting practices, as well as evidence that shows why joint custody would not be suitable for your particular family situation.
The second way to file for full custody in Texas is to seek termination of the other parent's rights. In these cases, the petitioner must clear an even higher bar in order to demonstrate that it is truly necessary and in their child’s best interests to remove the noncustodial parent from any future decision-making plans involving the child. To do this, both parents will likely have to give testimony before a judge, who will ultimately make the final determination on whether or not full custody should be granted.How to Fight for Full Custody?
Whenever a couple decides to dissolve Texase their relationship, or when a court establishes that paternity is in dispute, then a parent needs to be determined for the child. In Texas, fighting for full custody involves petitioning for the termination of the other parent’s rights. The court will review your request and consider if it is in the best interests of the child for the other parent’s rights to be terminated.
To meet this burden of proof, it must be shown that maintaining parental rights would cause an adverse effect on the well-being of the child. This can be evidence such as abuse, abandonment, or neglect. You can also demonstrate that it is not in their best interest as outlined by Child Protective Services (CPS). It is important that you have thorough documentation and evidence showing why keeping those parental rights intact would make life worse for the child; simply wanting full custody will not work with the court.
Lastly, if future visitation decisions are planned regarding grandparents, stepparents, or other relatives having legal ties; they must also be taken into account by CPS during consideration. Securing full custody can take time and effort but having a solid premise as to why it is necessary can improve your chances of success in front of a judge or juryGet Help from an Experienced Lawyer in Texas
An experienced family law attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you explain and navigate the entire case process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.