If you are a parent who is going through a separation, you may be wondering about the Texas child custody laws. What will happen to your child? How will you share custody? What if you don't agree on custody? These are all valid questions, and it is important to understand the basics of Texas child custody law before moving forward. This blog post will provide an overview of the law as it stands today so that you can make informed decisions about your case.
Main Custody Laws
Here are some basic laws parents should familiarize themselves with to understand their rights and responsibilities as a separated couple.
- Texas Family Code, Chapter 151 - This code details the rights of both parents, including their duties.
- Sections 153.073 - 153.076 of the code above provides more detail on the rights and responsibilities of those who co-parent.
Custody can be defined as the legal right to have control over a child. Many factors go into custody decisions, but the most important consideration is always what is in the child's best interest.
Types of Custody
Custody is broken up into two parts: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to where the child will live, while legal custody refers to who has the privilege to make decisions about the child's upbringing. In most cases, custody is awarded to one parent, with the other parent being given visitation rights. However, it is also possible for custody to be split evenly between both parents, also known as joint custody.
In the state of Texas, custody is generally determined in one of two ways: through the agreement of the parents or through a court order. If the parents are able to agree on a custody arrangement, they will submit a proposed parenting plan to the court for approval. If the parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the court will make a custody determination based on the child's best interests.
The court will consider a few factors when making a custody determination, including the child's age, the child's relationship with each parent, and each parent's work schedule. Ultimately, the goal is to create a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child and that will allow the child to have a strong relationship with both parents. Section 153.009 of the Texas Family Code allows children 12 years of age and older to voice their opinions on who they’d rather stay with. This is not an automatic decision but is carefully considered when making decisions.
Factors That Can Affect Your Custody Status
While it’s ideal to have both parents in their lives, there are times when custody must be awarded to only one parent. There are plenty of reasons why a parent may not gain or lose custody of their child, but some of the most common include abuse, neglect, drug use, and mental health issues.
Cases of abuse or neglect and the child's safety are of paramount concern; custody will be awarded to the parent who can provide a safe and stable home. If either parent has a history of drug use or mental health issues, the court may determine that they cannot provide adequate care for their child. Ultimately, the custody decision will be made based on what is in the child's best interests.
Divorce is a tough time for families. Custody can be especially contentious, with parents wanting what is best for their children. If you are going through a divorce and seeking custody of your children, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation on your side.
At Albin Oldner Law, PLLC, we have extensive experience handling custody cases. We understand the importance of custody to both parents and children, and we will work tirelessly to try to get the best possible outcome for your family. We will evaluate your case and develop a custody plan that is in the best interests of your children.