Child Custody in Texas

Texas Child Custody Factors—An Overview

When your marriage has ended and you have minor children, one of the most difficult decisions involves where your children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent. In Texas, child custody (now referred to as “managing conservatorship”) agreements or orders must consider the best interests of the minor child. The courts typically encourage the parents to work together to put an arrangement in place that gives priority to the needs and best interests of the children. Courts prefer this agreement to be in writing, and to clearly establish the terms of any deviation from a standard custody order.

Texas Child Custody Factors—An Overview

Even though the parties can negotiate the terms of the agreement, the court will still review the proposed custody arrangement to ensure that it is in the best interests of the children, and that there was no undue influence or coercion. The court always has the power to reject or revise a custody or visitation (access) agreement. The child’s preference may be considered if the child is at least twelve years of age.

In Texas, as in all states, a distinction is made between physical custody (called possession) and legal custody, or managing conservatorship. Managing conservatorship involves the right to participate in decisions regarding the child’s well-being, such as medical, education or religious decisions. Courts prefer to grant joint managing conservatorship, which allows both parents to have input, but will limit legal custody to one parent (sole managing conservatorship). The parties can come to an agreement on the terms of custody and visitation. There are also two statutory possession and access schedules, a standard schedule and an extended standard schedule.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner

At the Law Office of Len Conner, we offer a free initial consultation in all family law matters, including issues relating to divorce. Send us an e-mail or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or 972-445-1500 if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or call us toll free at (877) 613-5800 for an appointment.

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