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Is it Possible to Get Full Custody of a Child in Texas? 

Posted on in Child Custody

Collin County Child Custody LawyerMany parents seek to pursue what they call “full custody” of their child in a Texas divorce or custody modification. However, Texas law actually does not use the terms “custody” or “visitation” - instead, a parent’s legal relationship with their child is split into two areas: Conservatorship, meaning the right to make decisions for the child, and possession, or time spent with the child. In our last blog, we cover Texas’s treatment of child custody in fuller detail. 

It is important to know that Texas only terminates one parent’s rights if he or she meets the grounds for termination under the Family Code - not because parents dislike each other or disagree with each others’ parenting methods. In this blog, we will examine some of the rare situations in which a parent may be able to get full parental rights that exclude the other parent. 

When Can a Texas Court Terminate a Parent-Child Relationship? 

Texas courts take children’s well-being very seriously and try to allow children to have productive relationships with both parents whenever possible. However, in some circumstances, it may be impractical or even dangerous for a child to spend time with one of their parents. According to Texas law, these situations include, but are not limited to, a parent who has: 

  • Left the child alone or with an adult who is not the child’s other parent (like a grandparent or older sibling), and said they will not return

  • Left the child alone or with an adult who is not the child’s other parent, and failed to provide support for the child for at least three months 

  • Left the child alone or with someone else and not returned for at least six months

  • Knowingly put the child, or allowed the child to remain, in a situation that endangers the child’s well-being

  • Exposed the child to people who behave in ways that endanger the child’s well-being

  • Failed to support the child for at least a year

  • Abandoned the child without means of identifying the child or parent

  • Abandoned the mother during pregnancy and stayed away from the child since birth

  • Been convicted of murder, manslaughter, indecency with a child, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other serious charges

  • Failed to abide by a court order that would allow the parent to regain parental rights 

If one or more of these circumstances are present, one parent may be appointed the “sole managing conservator,” meaning they will have the child all the time and be responsible for making decisions for the child. Texas courts do not take such situations lightly and require evidence and proof that such a decision would be in the child’s best interests. Parents are not likely to give up their parental rights easily, and disputed custody cases can last a very long time and be very expensive to litigate. Before seeking “full custody,” parents should be aware of the risks that come along with pursuing such a strategy and be sure that it would truly be good for the child. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Collin County Child Custody Lawyer 

At the Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr., we are committed to helping our clients create a parenting arrangement that meets the best interests of their children. We work assertively within the law to protect your parental rights and can help you create a strategy based on clear and realistic expectations. Contact our offices today to schedule your confidential consultation with one of our Frisco, TX child custody attorneys and find out more about how we can help. Call us at 972-954-6455




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