Divorce and Your Kids: What to Know about Child Custody in Texas

Child on a swing, inbetween her divorced parentsChild custody and divorce laws in Texas are designed to create the best possible outcome for any kids involved in the process. Learning more about child custody can help you understand the process and what to expect as we work through the divorce process.

6 Things to Know About Child Custody in Texas

Texas courts prefer both parents stay involved: Unless there is a clear reason, Texas courts are reluctant to give sole custody to a single parent. Joint custody or conservatorship is far more common and considered to be in the best interest of the child. Both parents are expected to play an active role in the child’s life and to work together in that child’s interest.

You must live in Texas for six months: Your child must have lived in the state for six months before custody can be awarded. You can’t arrive in the state and immediately file for custody. Your child’s other parent must live in the state as well or they must be notified of the proceeding. If you have just moved to Texas, you’ll need to provide names and contact information for everyone your child has lived within the past five years and all his previous addresses.

Orders can be modified: A child custody can be modified here if needed and if the court determines a modification is in the best interest of the child. Situations change and so do the needs of the children involved, so changes and modifications to the custody or child support order can happen over time.

Child custody is conservatorship in Texas: Here in Texas, child custody is called conservatorship and there are two types: Joint Managing and Sole Managing. The courts strongly prefer the Joint Managing Conservatorship model, with both parents playing an active role in the child’s life. Unless there is abuse, neglect or other harmful activity, conservatorship is usually joint in Texas.

The best interest of the children involved leads the process: Decisions, orders, and plans involving custody issues are always decided based on what is best for the kids involved.

Kids get a say: Your kids can state a preference to the court if they are over the age of 12; the judge will consider their preferences and opinions when making a decision.

A Texas Child Custody Attorney Can Help

If you are considering divorce or have already separated and have kids, it is essential to have a family law attorney on your side. The next few months will be critical and will have a big impact on your life and your children’s lives and future. Contact us to ensure you have a child-friendly team working on your behalf and to gain the best possible outcome for you and your kids as you go through the divorce process in Texas.