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How is Child Custody Determined in Texas?

Posted on in Child Custody

North Texas Child Custody LawyerParents want what is best for their children. Whether you are an unmarried parent or a parent planning to divorce, you probably have several questions about child custody in Texas. Who your child will live with and how significant decisions about the child’s upbringing will be made are essential concerns during a Texas divorce. Read on to learn about child custody laws and what to do if you need help with child custody concerns.

Legal Custody and Physical Custody

Each state handles child custody slightly differently. In Texas, “legal custody” refers to parents’ decision-making authority. Parents with legal custody have the right to decide where their children will go to school, what type of healthcare the children receive, whether the children go to church or participate in other religious practices, and more.

Physical custody refers to where the child lives and which parent cares for the child on any given day. The Texas Family Code calls custody “conservatorship,” but the term child custody is still used informally in this blog for clarity purposes.

Negotiating an Out-Of-Court Custody Plan

Texas presumes that it is best for children to have both of their parents involved in their lives. Parents may be able to negotiate a parenting agreement in which the parents share custody in a “joint managing conservatorship.” However, it is sometimes in the child’s best interests for one parent to have full legal and/or physical custody.

You and the other parent may be able to reach your own decisions about child custody. If you struggle to communicate with the other parent, your attorney may help you negotiate an agreement with the other parent. You and the other parent will need to address who the child will stay with and when, including who will keep the children on holidays and school vacations. You will also need to decide how the children will be transported between the two homes. Provisions addressing decision-making authority are also a crucial component of the parenting agreement. Some parents assign sole legal custody to one parent, while others share responsibility for child-related decisions.

How Texas Courts Decide Child Custody

If you and the other parent are unable to reach an agreement about conservatorship issues, the court will step in and make the decision for you. Texas courts consider the child’s best interests above all else. Courts also presume that joint custody is in the child’s best interests unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Contact a Frisco Child Custody Lawyer

If you are getting divorced or you have child custody concerns, contact the Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr. for help. Our Collin County family law attorneys can protect your rights, help you understand your options, and provide the legal support you need. Call us at 972-954-6455 for a free, confidential case assessment.




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