Cornerstone of Custody Law
Texas law encourages parents to reach an agreement on child custody outside of court, sometimes imposing a court-appointed mediator to assist the parents in reaching an acceptable "parenting plan." Whether in an agreed parenting plan, standard possession order or any other court order regarding custody, the court's primary consideration is the best interest of the child.
Parents have a duty to support their children by providing the child with necessary clothing, food, shelter, medical care and education. This may include one or both of the parents to pay child support.
Subject to the best interest of the child, the court will consider any history of domestic abuse and -- if the child is over 12 years of age -- the child's preference, in selecting a sole conservator (or, if joint conservatorship is awarded, then in the primary conservator--i.e., which parent the child will live with)(under Texas law, custody is referred to as conservatorship). Generally, the conservator(s) has the right to have the child live with them, the right to consent to certain medical care, and the right to direct the moral and religious upbringing of the child. The court may also grant access (visitation) to a non-possessory parent or grandparent.
Courts tend to divide custody of the child evenly unless there is reason to believe it would not be in the child's best interest (e.g., abuse, neglect, abandonment or imprisonment of one of the parents). In certain situations, Texas law allows a court to permanently terminate a parent's right to the child if it would be in the child's best interest and with evidence of neglect, abuse, endangerment, failure to support the child, imprisonment or certain drug offenses.
If you want to maximize the time your child spends with you or have concerns about the suitability of your child's other parent for joint custody, contact us to find out how we can help.
Principal office located in Euless, Texas
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