Professional Guidance with Child Custody Laws in Texas
Child custody is often the most stressful and emotional issue that parents face during a divorce and its aftermath. At Burrows law group, our child custody attorneys appreciate this fact and are here to help. We have extensive experience helping clients navigate this difficult terrain and work toward a fair and equitable resolution that advances their children’s best interests.
Understanding Child Custody Laws in Texas
Texas’ legal terminology concerning custody differs slightly from that of other states. In the Lone Star State, we call child custody “conservatorship” and refer to parents as “custodians.” With child custody laws in Texas, there are two types of conservatorships:
- Joint managing conservatorship (i.e., JMC)
- Sole managing conservatorship (i.e., SMC)
Be that as it may, these terms refer only to a custodian’s authority to participate in decisions affecting the child’s health, education, religious upbringing and general welfare. An order calling for a JMC or SMC does not comment on where the child will reside, commonly called physical custody. Courts decide physical custody and visitation (sometimes called “parenting time”) in a separate “possession order” (i.e., PO). Your PO lays out the schedule for “possession,” referring to when a parent provides a residence for the child, and “access,” which covers the parenting time schedule for a noncustodial parent.
Courts tend to favor JMCs when both parents are responsible and engaged for their child(ren)’s welfare. Courts can fashion POs to meet the specific needs of the parents and children or approve specially tailored POs the parents can agree upon.
Custody Factors Texas Family Court Considers
When navigating child custody issues, the guiding principle for a family law court in Texas is the best interest of the child. The court considers several factors in this endeavor, which include:
- The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child
- The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse
- The interaction and relationship of the child with parents and siblings
- The history of domestic violence, if any
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent
- The preference of the child when he or she is of sufficient age and capacity to reason to form an intelligent decision
- The needs of the child
- The stability of the home environment offered
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- The fitness of the parents
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or after the separation
- The parents’ employment responsibilities
- The age and number of the children
Contact Our Child Custody Attorneys for Assistance with Your Dispute
Our child custody attorneys work diligently to achieve your goals for custody so you can maintain a loving relationship with your children. So, if you need legal counsel for a custody dispute during or after divorce, we encourage you to contact a certified family law specialist at Burrows Law Group. We are prepared to help with dedicated and highly personal legal services.