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The basics of Texas’s child custody laws

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2021 | Family Law |

For many married couples in the Sweetwater area, the first things on their minds during a divorce is what will happen to their children.

In other cases, two parents may never have been married but may have children together and be at a point in life where they realize they are not going to be able to continue raising their children together without a court’s intervention.

Texas courts may grant conservatorship to one or both parents

When quirk in Texas’s child custody laws is that courts do not award one or both of a child’s parents “custody” but instead grant conservatorship.

Texas courts will presume that the best option is a joint managing conservatorship.

Basically, in a joint managing conservatorship, the parents must agree on important decisions about their children, such as questions about school, medical care and important religious and moral questions about the child’s upbringing. They also must agree on a child’s residence unless a court grants leave for one of the parents to move.

In some cases, a court may award a sole managing conservatorship to one of the parents, meaning that the parent with conservatorship has the final say when it comes to the important aspects of the child’s care.

While sole managing conservatorships are not favored, Texas courts do grant them in some situations.

The courts will also enter a possession and access order

Along with conservatorship, the court will also enter what is called an order of possession and access.

Basically, the order will set out which parent will see the children at what times and may also set up some ground rules, such as when the other parent may contact the child or what time pick up and drop off will be.

Except in limited cases, the court is going to allow both parents time with their children.

Unless the parents agree on a schedule, the court will hear evidence and create this order based on the information it receives.

The best interests of the children is the paramount consideration

When making these decisions, the court’s task is always to consider the best interests of the children involved and will evaluate a number of legal factors when doing so.