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FAQs About Texas Child Custody


When you have the right information, you can better understand your options and rights during your child custody dispute. There are frequently some very common questions and misconceptions about child custody and what it means for your child and for you.

What is Custody?

In Texas, custody is referred to as a conservatorship. There are two types of conservators -- managing conservator and possessory conservator. Managing conservatorship is the parent who has the ability to make important decisions for the child. There are two kinds of managing conservator. One is the sole managing conservator and the other is a joint managing conservator. Possessory conservatorship is where the child will reside.

How Does the Court Decide Custody?

There are many factors the judge will consider, including who the current primary caregiver is for the child, the age of the parents, the behavioral patterns of the parents, if there is a history of domestic abuse, the age of the child, and any other factor the court deems relevant. Depending on the circumstance, the judge will make a custody decision based on those factors. Ultimately, the court looks out for the child’s best interest, meaning that any custody decision must be what is most likely to keep the child in a safe, happy, and healthy home.

What is Visitation?

In Texas, “visitation” and “custody” is referred to as “possession and access.” Possession and access refer to a parent with physical custody of the child, and when the parent can visit the child. There are standard possession and access schedules in texas. This schedule provides guidelines on the time each parent will spend with the child.

What Happens if the Parents are Not Married?

If the child is born to unmarried parents, the father has no legal parental rights. Therefore, if he wants parental rights, he must establish the paternity of the child. Otherwise, he cannot obtain custody of any kind. Paternity can be established by the mother signing an affidavit acknowledging that he is the father, or the father can seek a paternity test. If paternity is confirmed, the father then has the right to seek custody of the child.

Can the Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

In Texas, a child may only choose which parent to live with once they turn 18 years old. However, a judge will consider the wishes of a child, no matter the age, if they have good reason for requesting it. Obviously, the older the child gets, the more weight their opinion will hold. Courts usually see children ages 12 and older as mature enough to give sound reason. If the court suspects that the child was infuenced by the parent, this will come with consequences if proven. If the child’s wishes are not in their best interest, the court can decide a different custody situation.

This applies to visitation as well. The custodial parent must follow the orders given by the court, or their parental rights may be stripped/adjusted. Until the child turns 18, the custodial parent must take every measure to see that the child visits the non-custodial parent.

How Can A Child Custody Attorney Help?

A Woodlands child custody lawyer has experience handling all kinds of child custody cases. They understand how the court handles custody matters, and know how to effectively help parents come to a favorable custody solution. Additionally, they will fight for the child’s best interests while making sure the parent’s rights and their child’s rights are being protected.

Parchman Law Group, PLLC specializes in divorce law and family law. Our offices are located in The Woodlands, TX. We have a team of experienced divorce lawyers who will handle your case efficiently to actively help you achieve your goals. You do not have to handle these complex matters on your own.

Please call Parchman Law Group today at (713) 364-0777 to explore your options.