Understanding Texas Child Custody Law

There are two important aspects of child custody in Texas. The first is conservatorship. Conservatorship is the right of parents to make decisions regarding a child’s education, medical treatment, and other important matters. One parent can make all decisions–sole managing conservatorship—or the parents can make decisions jointly—joint managing conservatorship. The court makes conservatorship decisions based on the best interests of the child.

The other important aspect of child custody in Texas is possession and access. Possession and access refers to physical custody and visitation rights. Possession and access schedules are divided into standard and extended standard, which determine how much time each parent spends with the child. Possession and access schedules are somewhat flexible; parents can agree to change their schedules based on their needs. Sometimes the court changes the access and possession schedules if it thinks the change is in the best interests of the child.

The court determines the amount of child support required by evaluating the stability of the home, how cooperative the parents are with each other, and other factors. Children over the age of 12 can request that their wishes as to whom they live with be taken into consideration by the court.

A divorce in Texas where children are involved will include a parenting plan. A parenting plan states what the rights and duties of the parent are regarding the child. Which parent has the right to make decisions regarding health or education, for instance, will be part of the parenting plan. The parenting plan also specifies which parent has the duty to provide health insurance and which parent needs to provide child support.

When a couple files for divorce, temporary orders may be issued that detail child conservatorship, possession and access, and child support. After the final decree, possession and access will be decided on a permanent basis. Custody can be modified if it’s in the best interest of the child to do so and if parents agree, or the child is 12 years old or older and wants to change his primary residence, or if there’s been a major change in the circumstances of the child or the parent.

If you need further information about Texas custody, we’re happy to help – please contact us today to learn more!

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The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

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