When the parents of children decide to divorce, child custody concerns become a major part of the divorce proceedings. The Texas family court encourages each parent and their child custody lawyer to work together toward an amicable and appropriate custody arrangement that will benefit any children involved.
There are certain child custody options that are considered based on individual circumstances. Joint conservatorship is generally preferred; however, in situations where this is not possible, the court may order another type of arrangement. Since the welfare of the child is the main consideration, parents are advised to work closely with an experienced child custody attorney and with each other in formulating an agreeable custody arrangement.
Joint Custody Is Preferable
Texas family court prefers to award joint custody, or joint conservatorship, that will promote the inclusion of both parents in the ongoing raising of their children. With joint conservatorship, one parent is awarded primary custody or possession and determines where the child will live; the other parent is granted access according to a previously determined visitation schedule. Both parents share in all other parts of child raising just as they did before getting divorced, including educational and medical decisions.
The emphasis in a joint custody arrangement is that the child has access to and the support of both parents, who must work together to provide the best upbringing even though they are no longer married. By working with an experienced child custody lawyer, parents can develop a workable plan for joint custody that will be granted by the court.
If one parent is unfit to take part in a joint custody arrangement or the second parent is not present, the family court may award sole conservatorship, or complete possession and care management, to one parent. Although not the preferred option, the family court will do this if management by one parent is thought to be better for the child. The second parent is still entitled to visitation according to any schedule worked out by both parents and their child custody attorneys; however, the custodial parent will make all decisions regarding education, medical care, and everything else.
Third Party Custody
When both parents are deemed to be unfit by the family court, the parents are deceased or not present, or the child has already been in the constant care of another relative or guardian for at least six months, third party custody may be awarded. The closest living relative, or another person who has been caring for the child, may file a custody suit, as may grandparents in cases where the parents are deceased or missing. In these cases, the Texas family court will very carefully consider what is best for the child or children involved and award custody based on that.
There are three different child custody or conservatorship options that will be considered by the Texas family court: joint, sole, and third party custody. In most cases, parents are awarded joint conservatorship unless there is a specific reason that it should not be done. Parents are encouraged to work with child custody attorneys to develop an agreeable possession schedule as well as a parenting plan to encourage effective co-parenting. To learn more about custody options and effective parenting plans, parents should speak with an experienced child custody lawyer.
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan Texas 77803