Family legal issues can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially
if your children are young or if you are going through a particularly
contentious divorce or separation. When parents go their separate ways,
children sometimes have difficulty coping, especially if their parents
are tense, absent, or otherwise preoccupied. However, when parents are
able to move through the child custody process smoothly and efficiently,
it can make the entire process significantly easier. Not only does a smooth
custody agreement make for happier kids, it also makes co-parenting relationships
easier, and can even save you money.
To handle your child custody case to the best of your ability, make sure
you understand how child custody cases work in Texas.
Texas Family Law Basics
In Texas, a family law court will evaluate each parent in order to find
a parenting arrangement that works in the best interest of the child.
The custody arrangement is legally referred to as a conservatorship, and
parents who are awarded legal rights and responsibilities are called conservators.
Much like any other state, Texas law states that parents can come to their
own custody arrangement without the help of the court. However, if parents
are unable to reach an absolute agreement, they will have to either seek
mediation or litigation to find common ground.
Types of Child Custody
There are a few different ways a conservatorship can be granted. If one
parent is granted parental rights over the other, they may be referred
to as the sole managing conservator. In the event that both parents share
custody and parenting responsibilities, the arrangement will be called
a joint managing conservatorship.
In a sole managing conservatorship, the child will live with the primary
parent, who will serve as the child’s primary caretaker. However,
the other parent will be granted certain visitation rights, unless the
court has specifically forbidden it, which is rare. With joint custody,
or joint managing conservatorship, parents will share time with their
children and will make major parenting decisions, such as those concerning
education and healthcare, together.
How Texas Courts Decide
Texas courts will examine several different factors before determining
how custody will be awarded.
Some of the key factors a Texas judge will consider include:
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- Each parent’s living situation
- The age of the child
- The child’s preferences
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s relationship with the other members of each parent’s household
- Each parent’s willingness to encourage the child’s relationship
with the other parent
- The role each parent plays in the child’s daily care
- Whether or not either parent has a history of violence or domestic abuse
If you are dealing with a child custody case, you need a trustworthy, experienced
family law attorney in your corner.
Contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny
today to discuss your divorce case with our Houston family law lawyers.