Understanding Texas Child Custody Laws: A Comprehensive Guide
The law regarding child custody in Texas exists to determine who will have primary responsibility for the care and upbringing of a child in the event of parental separation. The court may consider various factors before granting custody, with the ultimate goal being to ensure that the selection is in the best interest of the child. Factors such as, but not limited to, the wishes of both parents and the age and preference of the child, are weighed against one another in order to reach a decision.
It is possible to modify an existing court order on Texas child custody if sought by one or both parents. Types of modification can depend upon the circumstance, though commonly they include changes in visitation rights, financial obligations, or other aspects within a parenting plan. It is important to be aware that any specific parent’s request must not conflict with what was previously ordered by a judge, and all modifications must be done through petitioning with evidence provided at a hearing.Child Custody in Texas
In Texas, the public policy concerning child custody is intended to ensure that children have the opportunity to benefit from frequent and ongoing contact with parents who are able to make decisions in their best interests. Additionally, the public policy seeks to provide a safe and stable environment for the welfare of children, as well as encourage parental responsibility after the dissolution of marriage. To do so, all pertinent family law statutes strive toward awarding joint-custody arrangements in almost all cases. This awards both parties the ability to be involved in decision-making for their child’s upbringing and potentially change over time based on each party's arrangement or circumstances.
Moreover, Texas courts assume that each parent has equal rights when it comes to providing for raising their children; this heavily factors into awards regarding conservatorship. Parents may also agree upon a different type of custody arrangement that better fits their lifestyle or preferences; however, regardless any agreement made outside of court will ultimately be reviewed by a judge and adjusted accordingly if an appropriate atmosphere can not be assured via such control. Receiving such permission requires a great effort on behalf of both parties because courts prioritize doing what is truly best by providing stability and support alongside consistent contact for minor children.Managing Conservatorship (Legal Custody)
Joint managing conservatorship is a legal agreement in Texas that grants both parents equal decision-making power over their child's life. It is presumed to be the best option for the child unless a court determines otherwise. In cases where one parent is unable to make important decisions, the court may appoint a sole managing conservator.
When deciding who should be appointed as a managing conservator, courts take into account several factors, such as the children's age, health, and relationship with each parent. Courts will also consider whether one of the parents has been unable to make sound decisions due to alcohol or drug abuse or domestic violence or child abuse in the past.Possessory Conservatorship (Physical Custody)
Agreeing on a custody schedule can be tough for parents, leading to tension and conflict. Texas law offers some flexibility in setting terms, but if parents can't agree, a "standard possession order" is provided. This outlines specific times for each parent to spend time with the child. The order varies based on distance between parents and doesn't always apply to children under three.Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney 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.