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What factors determine child custody in Texas?

| Jan 25, 2021 | Child Custody |

Texas parents must agree on a fair child custody arrangement if they decide to divorce. Some families can resolve this question outside of court while others ask a family law judge to make a custody determination.

Review the factors that influence child custody in Texas when facing a divorce.

Joint managing conservatorship

Texas parents serve as joint managing conservators of their children unless evidence shows that this arrangement could harm the child’s well-being. Managing conservatorship describes the right of the parents to make decisions about where their child attends school, worships and receives medical attention, as well as other important aspects of care.

Either parent can ask the court for sole managing conservatorship. However, Texas does not usually allow this arrangement except in cases involving proof of neglect or abuse on behalf of the other parent.

Standard possession

Texas refers to physical custody of the child as standard possession. Parents can create a schedule that works for their family or ask the court to establish a standard possession order. In this case, the judge often gives one parent primary physical custody and the other parent visitation for an extended summer period, alternating weekends, alternating holidays, and one night a week.

The SPO can also include provisions about where the parents should meet for visitation exchanges. Parents can alter this basic schedule if they can agree on a different arrangement that receives approval from the court.

In addition to the SPO, parents can also request a temporary custody order. This legal document governs custody of the children during the separation period.