Texas Child Custody Laws

Article 1 in the Child Custody Series, Contact a Houston Child Custody Lawyer at MyHoustonDivorce.Lawyer

Child Custody Laws in Texas

Child Custody Attorney – Houston

texas child custody laws in a divorceYou need to acquaint yourself with child custody laws in Texas if you have gone through a divorce where minor children are involved.

The whole process of getting child custody can be emotionally draining and confusing, which is why you will need an attorney that listens to your custody goals and helps you achieve those goals during the child custody case process.  There are many important questions most parents have about child custody law in Texas. They include:

Filing A Child Custody Case

You can file a child custody case in the “home state” of a child, which is the state where the child has lived in the past six or more months. If you file in another state that is not the child’s “home state”, the court may declare that it does not have jurisdiction and cannot listen to your case.

Primary Residence and Child Custody

What happens when one parent moves out of the state?

The court that has jurisdiction of the parties, is the court located where the parents of the child divorced and continued living after the divorce. The custody order that is issued during a child custody case contains the details and limitations regarding a parent’s right to relocate.  So a parent cannot simply relocate out of state or take the kid and leave without any notice or consent from the court or the other parent.

TX Custody Laws vs Other States

What is a Possessory Conservator?

What people call custody in other states, is referred to as conservatorship in Texas.

Types of Custody in Texas

The two types of conservators are the managing conservator and the possessory conservator. Managing conservators are divided into sole managing conservator and joint managing conservator.  The child’s parents are considered as the joint managing conservators.

How to Modify a Child Custody Order

The court that made the initial custody order can modify the order only if the parents show that they have experienced material or substantial change. This can include the child becoming older, a remarriage, and change in medical condition and so on.

Can a parent get sole custody?

In Texas you have the option of becoming the sole managing conservator. A sole managing conservator has the exclusive right to make most of the decisions concerning the child.  A judge can only grant these rights to a parent in situations where the other parent is violent or there is neglect by the other parent, or the other parent is absent from the child’s life.

Non Custodial Rights in Texas

Does the “other parent” have any rights?

The parent who is not the “sole managing conservator” still has the right to parent the child and that parent is called the possessory conservator.  For instance, they still have visitation rights and could be involved in all decisions pertaining to the child.

When Can A Child Decide Which Parent To Live With in Texas?

The only time a child can choose which parent to live with in Texas is when they are age 18 years. A parent can request a judge to interview their minor child during a custody case, but the minor child cannot choose which parent to live with.

To get more detailed information and guidance, you need to consult a family law attorney.