Whether you are planning for divorce and your connected child custody case, or you are ending a relationship with your partner and the two of you share minor children, you will need to learn more about how child custody works in Texas. Most child custody matters are governed by the Texas Family Code, including specifics about how courts decide custody cases and what factors affect child custody decisions. The Texas Family Code emphasizes that it is Texas public policy to ensure that kids have “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents when such contact would be in the best interest, to encourage both parents to play important roles in their child’s upbringing, and to “provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child.”
To understand how Texas courts center that public policy when determining child custody, you should gain a better understanding of Texas family law from a Galveston child custody lawyer at our firm. The following are some of the top things to know about child custody in Texas.
Custody is Known as Conservatorship and Possession in Texas
In Texas, child custody is not awarded as such to one or both parents because Texas law does not use the terminology of “child custody.” Instead, Texas uses the terminology of “conservatorship” and “possession.” The Texas Family Code explains that courts determine whether there will be a sole or joint managing conservator of the child, and whether a parent who is not a managing conservator will have possession (akin to visitation with the child).
Sole or Joint Conservators Can be Appointed
Parents in Texas can share legal and physical custody of the child, or one parent can be appointed as the sole custodian of the child. As we noted above, sole or joint custody is determined in terms of whether there will be a sole or joint conservator.
Best Interest of the Child is the Primary Consideration
According to the Texas Family Code, the best interest of the child is always the “primary consideration of the court” when it is determining issues of conservatorship and possession. The court can consider a variety of factors in determining what kind of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
Parents Can Create an Agreed Parenting Plan to Decide Conservatorship and Possession
If parents can reach an agreement about how conservatorship and possession will work, and the arrangement is in the best interest of the child, they can put that information into an agreed parenting plan that the court can incorporate into a court order.
History of Domestic Violence Can Affect Custody
When there is a history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or other similar offenses, the court can restrict conservatorship and possession of the child. The court will assess the commission of any criminal conduct in deciding whether it will “deny, restrict, or limit the possession of a child,” according to the Texas Family Code.
Contact Our League City & Galveston Child Custody Attorneys
If you are going through a child custody case in Texas, or if you are anticipating a child custody case because you are planning for divorce and have minor children from your marriage, you should seek advice from the League City and Galveston child custody lawyers at our firm. We know how important it is to have an experienced family lawyer on your side during any child custody matter. Contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today for more information.