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Understanding Child Custody in Texas: Full Custody vs. Joint Custody

Understanding Child Custody in Texas: Full Custody vs. Joint Custody When it comes to determining child custody in Texas, there are a few different options. Perhaps the two most common ones are full custody and joint custody.

Full custody is when one parent has primary residential responsibility for the child, which includes making all major decisions such as health care and education. This also generally involves the other parent having only visitation rights with their child(ren). In contrast, joint custody is where both parents share physical and/or legal responsibility for their children. With this option, both parents will make significant decisions regarding their children together as well as sharing physical and/or legal parenting time with them. Both parents maintain their parental duties, rights, and responsibilities under joint custody.

Though full or joint custody can be arranged through mutual agreement between parents outside of court, the courts will generally step in to decide what arrangement would best suit the needs of any children involved if an agreement cannot be reached by the parents themselves. It is important to take into account each of your unique family dynamics when considering whether to pursue full or joint custody in Texas for you and your loved ones.

Custody Arrangements

Types of Custody Arrangements in Texas vary significantly and can be categorized as either full custody or joint custody. In a full custodial situation, one parent has the legal right to make all decisions regarding their child’s welfare, including educational, medical, and religious upbringing, while the other parent typically has limited visitation rights. Inordinate decision-making power is thereby bestowed upon the sole custodial parent and the other parent has very little say in how the child is raised.

On the contrary, joint custody arrangements known as joint managing conservatorships aim to give parents equal access to their children, both legally in regards to decision-making responsibilities as well as physically through jointly held living arrangements. 

joint physical custody enables a child to live with both parents equally, whereas joint legal custody gives both parents the legal authority to make decisions about their child’s welfare. Regardless of a chosen living arrangement for their child, by establishing a parenting plan any Texas resident enters into an agreement that will directly affect the emotional development of his or her offspring for many years to come; it is therefore imperative that all parenting plans are discussed thoroughly before fully committing.

The Criteria for Obtaining Sole Custody in Texas Require Supporting Evidence

In Texas, the family court system generally favors joint custody arrangements for minor children when making decisions about full vs. joint custody. This is because the court recognizes that the best interests of a child are served by having meaningful, close relationships with both parents. However, there are certain circumstances in which the court may award full custody to one parent.

In these cases, it is important for the parent seeking sole custody to provide evidence substantial enough to convince a judge that an arrangement involving both parents would not be in the best interests of the child. Examples of evidence that may be beneficial when arguing for full custody include behavioral issues or destructive conduct exhibited by either parent; proof of neglect or abuse by either parent; substance abuse problems by either parent; any criminal history held by either parent; and any other factors deemed relevant by a judge. To adequately demonstrate that sole custody is in the best interests of the child, all available applicable evidence must be presented before a family court judge making this fateful decision.

Supporting the Idea of Joint Custody

For parents advocating for joint custody in the state of Texas, it is important to prepare a well-reasoned argument that demonstrates one’s ability to provide an appropriate environment and stable home life. Dealing with divorce or separation is always difficult, but in order to support joint custody, it needs to be proved that both sides are able to provide their child with a safe and loving home. Evidence that supports this claim can come from school reports, counseling records, and witness testimony from neighbors and family members who have interacted with you and your child on a regular basis.

Parents should also provide evidence that shows the level of involvement in the child’s life. This could include documentation such as appointment bookings for extracurricular activities, volunteer work at sites involving youth programs, emails showing communication between parent and teacher about daily happenings, or even social media posts showcasing quality time spent together. If proven that responsibility for decision making is possible through shared parental knowledge then joint custody may be granted. It is crucial to recognize, however, that ultimately the court will make its own determination based on what they consider best suits the needs and interests of the child concerned.

When Deciding Between Full Custody or Joint Custody in Texas, It is Recommended to Seek Legal Guidance From an Attorney

When making decisions about child custody in Texas, it’s essential to work with an experienced family law attorney. The Texas family court system is very complex and the stakes are high––which is why attempting to represent yourself in such an important case can be a huge mistake. Making sure that your rights as a parent are protected requires legal knowledge, strategy, and advocacy skills—all of which a reputable lawyer can provide.

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.

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