How Does Texas Determine Child Custody?

Dad playing with his toddler while the mother looks on.When it comes to family law, Texas is very clear on the fact that all decisions must be made with the best interests of any children involved at heart. This means that neither the mother nor the father gains any rights based on their gender. The court will examine both parents and their capability to look after a child.

Fighting for custody is often a huge point of contention for divorcing spouses, and understanding how the court decides upon child custody arrangements can be important.

Fortunately, The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC is here to provide legal assistance to help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights, as well as your children’s, are protected.

Find out how we can help your case by contacting us at 832-843-1691 today.

How Does a Texas Judge Determine Child Custody Decisions

In accordance with the Texas Family Code, a judge determines child custody decisions based on the “best interest of the child” standard. This means that a Judge will consider the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of the child when making a custody decision. The Judge will consider factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s stability and education, and the ability of each parent to provide emotional support and care.

In addition, courts may also consider any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent. When making a decision, the court will look at each parent’s ability to meet the child’s physical, emotional, financial, educational, and medical needs. The court may also consider the wishes of any siblings who may be affected by the custody decision.

Finally, the court may consider any other relevant factors in making its decision. These may include the stability of each parent’s home environment, their ability to provide a safe and secure home for the child, their work schedule and availability for parenting time, the child’s wishes (for children over 12), and any other issues that may impact a child’s welfare. The judge has broad discretion in making these decisions and will take all these factors into account when deciding which parent should have custody of the child.

Child Custody Cases In Texas Do Not Use Physical And Legal Custody

In Texas, child custody is referred to as conservatorship. Unlike other states, Texas does not use the terms “physical custody” and “legal custody” in court proceedings. Instead, the court may appoint one or both parents as a “managing conservator” or “possessory conservator.” A managing conservator is the parent who has the majority of the decision-making power regarding the child’s welfare, while a possessory conservator is the parent who has visitation rights. The court will also award the managing conservator possession of the child, meaning that the child will physically reside with them. In some cases, both parents may be appointed as joint managing conservators and share decision-making power.

The Types Of Possession In Texas Custody Cases

Possession refers to the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Possession can be standard possession, modified possession, or supervised possession. Standard possession is when one parent has primary physical custody, and the other parent has a set visitation schedule.

Modified possession allows for more flexibility in visitation schedules and takes into account unique circumstances such as distance between parents or a child’s extra-curricular activities.

Supervised possession is when one parent has primary physical custody, and the other parent’s visitation is monitored or supervised by a third party, such as a family member or court-appointed supervisor. In order to make sure that any decisions made regarding a child’s custody are in their best interests, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

The Types Of Access In Texas Custody Cases

In Texas, there are two main types of access in a child custody case: physical and legal. Physical access refers to the amount of time each parent has with the child. This is often determined by a parenting plan, which is an agreement between the parents that outlines the visitation schedule.

The parenting plan should also include details about transportation arrangements, holiday access, and other important details. Legal access refers to the rights and responsibilities of each parent in making decisions about the child. This includes decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and other matters.

In Texas, both parents have equal rights to make decisions about the child, unless a court order specifies otherwise. The court must consider the best interests of the child when making decisions about access, so it’s important for parents to present evidence of their ability to care for the child as part of their custody case.

Ultimately, courts try to ensure that children have both physical and legal access to their parents so they can grow up in a healthy and secure environment.

What Is Child Conservatorship, And How Is It Decided In Texas?

Child conservatorship is a legal term used in Texas to refer to the legal relationship between a parent and their child. It is similar to guardianship, but with a few key differences. In Texas, child conservatorship is decided by the court system. The court will consider many factors when deciding on child conservatorship, including the child’s best interests, the parent’s ability to provide for the child, and the parent’s ability to cooperate and make decisions together. The court will also consider the relationship between the parents, any prior court orders involving the child, and any other relevant information.

The court may choose one parent as the primary conservator, or both parents may be appointed joint managing conservators. If appointed as joint managing conservators, both parents will have equal rights and responsibilities in making decisions that affect the child.

The court may also appoint a third party, such as an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem, to represent the child in making decisions about their best interests. In some cases, an order for conservatorship may include a standard possession order that outlines when each parent has visitation with the child.

Texas Judges Have A Preference For Allowing Both Parents Access

In the state of Texas, judges have a preference for awarding both parents access to a child in a child custody case. This is due to the fact that Texas courts view children as having a right to access and contact with both of their parents. This is based on the belief that children benefit from contact with both parents, as it allows them to maintain a strong connection to both parents. This belief is supported by research that has found that children who have regular contact with both of their parents tend to be better adjusted and have fewer behavior issues.

However, it is also common for one parent to become the custodial parent, who the child lives with for the majority of the time. The other parent will then work within a visitation schedule, such as every other weekend and one weekday evening each week. This helps foster stability for the child and often works within the family’s weekly schedule better. Often the custodial parent will also receive child support from the other parent.

Texas Judges Should Not Have A Gender Preference For Custody Disputes

Texas judges do not have a bias when it comes to the gender of parents in a child custody case because they are required to make decisions based solely on the best interests of the child. This means that the gender of the parents is not taken into consideration when determining which parent should receive primary custody of the child.

Under Texas law, both parents are treated equally regardless of gender, and the court looks at factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent and the home environment of each parent when deciding on the matter.

Is Sole Custody Ever Awarded in Texas?

The only reason why one parent would lose all rights and responsibilities to their children is if they pose a risk to their wellbeing. For example, if there is any history of child abuse or substance misuse. However, even in this situation, the court could order supervised visitation.

If you are concerned about your child’s welfare with your ex-spouse, then you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. They will help you to evidence your claims and will fight to protect your children.

Not Paying Child Support Will Not Impact Rights Of Visitation In Texas

Child support, child custody, and spousal support agreements are court orders, and this means that you are obligated to follow them by law. However, each court order is a separate matter, and if you fail to pay child support or your ex-spouse is not meeting their child support payments, child visitation is not affected.

This means no parent can withhold visitation rights from the other parent because they are not paying child support or spousal support payments.

What factors does the court consider when deciding child custody in Texas?

When deciding child custody in Texas, the court considers the child’s best interests, the mental and physical health of both parents, the child’s relationship with each parent, any history of domestic violence or abuse, and any other relevant factors.

How long does a Texas court take to make a custody decision?

The time it takes for a Texas court to make a custody decision can vary depending on the case’s complexity. Generally, a decision is made within a few months, but you should be prepared for it to take longer in more complex cases involving a lot of conflict.

Is it possible to modify a custody order in Texas?

Yes, it is possible to modify a custody order in Texas if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was issued. However, we recommend that you pursue any modifications with a skilled attorney. This is because you will need to put forward the most compelling case possible as to why you deserve a modification.

The courts will modify an order for two reasons. The first reason is in any situation where there is a danger to any children. If you have reason to believe your ex-spouse poses a danger to your children, for example, if it has become known to you that they are doing drugs or abusing alcohol, then the courts will listen to any appeals that have enough evidence to back the claims up.

Secondly, they will listen to any appeal where there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This means that if you have lost your job, developed a disability, moved states, etc, you may be able to pursue a modification if your circumstances have changed and the order is no longer viable for you.

Orders are in place until the modification has been agreed upon by a Judge, however, meaning you must follow your existing orders in the interim.

Does Texas recognize joint custody arrangements?

Yes, Texas does recognize joint custody arrangements as an option for parents who are able to work together to make decisions about their children’s care.

Are grandparents allowed visitation rights in Texas?

Grandparents do not have automatic rights to their grandchildren, as they are not protected by the parent child relationship. However, they could be granted visitation rights in Texas if it is determined to be in the child’s best interests by a court of law.

How do Texas courts handle child custody when the parents live in different states?

When parents live in different states, Texas courts handle child custody by utilizing the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).

What happens if I don’t agree with the court’s decision about child custody?

If you don’t agree with the court’s decision about child custody, you can file an appeal with the appropriate court and have your case heard by a higher court. If you are planning to appeal to a higher court, you must do so with a stellar attorney by your side as you will be expected to provide a strong, compelling argument.

What is the role of the attorney ad litem in Texas child custody cases?

The role of the attorney ad litem in Texas child custody cases is to represent and advocate for the best interests of the child throughout the legal process.

Determining Child Custody in Texas

When you have children, divorce can become very complex and emotional. Hopefully, everyone wants what’s best for their children, but determining what that means in practice can be challenging.

At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we will help you strike a balance between keeping both parents involved in your child’s upbringing and fostering stability in their life. We will utilize low-conflict strategies where possible but will always be prepared to fight for your rights in court if necessary.

Speak to an experienced child custody lawyer today by calling 832-843-1691.