Child custody and visitation decisions are significant reasons for parental stress and anxiety during a divorce. There can be many unknowns, especially if you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement on your own about who will raise the children and what the visitation schedule will be. Here are some of the major aspects of child custody matters in Texas.
Texas has different terminology for child custody and visitation than many states. The legal term for child custody in Texas is conservatorship. For example, if both parents create a joint custody plan, it is called a joint managing conservatorship.
If one parent has custody and the other has visitation arrangements, it is called possession of and access to a child. A standard possession order outlines the time that each parent has with their child, and is completed even if both parents share conservatorship.
The court works to develop conservator solutions that are in the best interests of the children involved. What living situation and corresponding visitation arrangements best address the welfare of the child are always at the center of decisions. Parents who are a managing conservator can:
- Decide what physical and mental health treatment a child will receive
- Make schooling and religious education decisions for the child
- Serve as an emergency contact for the child
Custody For Dads
Whether a father wants joint or sole custody of a child, there can be challenges, especially when the other parent wants sole custody. Here are ways for fathers to show the court that they would make a good conservator:
- Paying child support on time
- Arranging a living space for the child
- Following the visitation plan
- Keeping records of payments and visits
- Working with the other parent in the best interests of the child
If at all possible, pursuing a custody and visitation plan with the other parent through respectful mediation can be preferable to letting a court decide matters for you.