Child custody issues are always difficult to deal with. Now that you and your spouse are planning to divorce, you are going to have to face some very tough issues. You will have to deal with visitation schedules, holidays, birthdays, special events and child support. However, before you work out a parenting plan with your soon-to-be ex-husband, you will have to go through the court process.
Understanding how the system works and what you can expect in the courtroom can help prepare you for the process. Speak with a Spring attorney experienced with family law for help addressing your child custody and divorce issues. Read further for more information about Texas child custody laws.
In Texas, the court refers to child custody as a conservatorship. Unless you and your husband can agree on a custody agreement, the court will make the decision for you. A judge will take into account what is best for your children to determine what kind of conservatorship to grant. You and your husband may end up with a joint managing conservatorship or the court might grant you a sole managing conservatorship.
In general, the conservator has the right to get information from the other parent concerning health and education issues. If the court names you the conservator, you will have the right to handle medical issues, including talking to health care professionals. You will also be responsible for your children’s educational needs.
If the court grants a joint managing conservatorship, then you and your husband will share the rights and responsibilities listed above. However, the court still might favor one parent over the other in granting exclusive decision-making rights. The court will also provide a clear list of duties you each have jointly and on a separate basis. Keep in mind that a joint managing conservatorship does not mean equal physical custody. A judge might declare a joint managing conservatorship and grant you physical custody and allow your husband to have visitation rights.
In cases where the court decides there should only be one conservator, it will give one parent sole managing conservatorship. As a sole conservator, you would be responsible for providing the primary residence of your children and handling all medical and educational issues. The court might also grant you child support.
Usually the court will grant a sole managing conservatorship if one parent does not want joint custody. If there is evidence of abuse or neglect, criminal activity or abandonment, the court will most likely favor the other parent.
If you are facing custody issues, it is important to understand the process of granting custody in Texas. You might be granted a sole conservatorship, or if you and your husband can work together for the benefit of your children, a joint managing conservatorship might work well for you.