Different Types of Child Custody in Hurst, Texas
In Texas, custody is actually referred to as conservatorship. A parent
who has “custody” of a child is called a conservator. Parents
can arrange a joint managing or sole managing conservatorship.
Conservatorship includes the right to:
- Make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and general welfare
- Consent to medical treatments for the child
- Discuss the child with doctors, dentists, educators, and other professionals
In a joint managing conservatorship, parents will have equal legal rights
over the child but may not have equal possession. A standard possession
order (SPO) is a visitation schedule that outlines who the child will
live with during certain times and when each parent will have access to
Parental rights and responsibilities associated with decisions regarding
the child’s upbringing fall into this category. Religious upbringing,
education and medical care and other issues concerning raising a child
are at the discretion of one or both parents that are granted legal custody.
All duties regarding the day-to-day care of a child as well as the rights
to direct the child’s daily activities fall into the realm of physical
custody. This includes the actual living arrangements and other matters
of daily routine.
Sole physical custody occurs when one parent retains the exclusive, primary
right to live with the child. Sole legal custody is the exclusive right
to control the upbringing of the child. If one parent has the primary
responsibility for a child, the other parent, known as the non-custodial
parent, most often maintains rights to uphold a relationship with the
child through visitation.
Sole custody usually takes the form of sole physical custody for one parent
and a generous visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. Sole
physical and legal custody generally only occurs if a history of abuse
and neglect is present.
With joint custody, both parents share responsibilities for decisions regarding
their children. Any combination of custody is possible, however parents
with joint physical custody often also have joint legal custody. However
joint legal custody does not automatically imply joint physical custody.
The nature of these arrangements can either be agreed to by both parties
or ordered by a court.
In shared parenting arrangements, parents share legal and physical custody
and the children spend equal amounts of time with both parents.
Split custody refers to cases in which each parent takes custody of different children.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Texas?
In Texas, custody is either decided between the parents through mediation
or collaborative law, or it is decided by a judge. In any case, the final
determination is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider
each parent's financial situation, their living situation, their history
of substance abuse or domestic violence, and the child's preference if
he or she is 12 years old or older.
At What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent They Want to Live With in Texas?
Until a child is a legal adult, he or she cannot decide which parent they
want to live with. It will be decided either by their parents, or by a
judge. However, a judge may take a child's preference into consideration
if the child is at least 12 years old.
The Child Custody Process in Texas
Custody is one of the first issues discussed when couples separate. When parents resolve visitation and custody issues themselves, courts
generally honor those agreements during
divorce proceedings. If couples cannot agree, several procedures exist to resolve custody
disputes and determine custody.
How Long Do Custody Battles Take in Texas?
If you are involved in a contested custody battle, it will take over a
year unless you deal with an uncontested child custody case. Then, it
will take only a few months or even less. Many issues occur between two
types of cases, and most parents do settle with the guidance of a mediator
eventually. Unfortunately, there are valid reasons to go to a trial on
a child custody matter.
Once the initial divorce papers are filed, the family court holds a temporary
hearing to consider financial and custodial orders to put in place until
the court enters its final divorce decree. If custody is contested during
the temporary hearing, the court will issue a custody order that remains
in effect until the trial.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on custody on their own
or through mediation, courts often order a custody evaluation by an outside
expert prior to trial in order to determine what arrangement would be
in the best interest of the child.
If custody is disputed, the court will award custody at trial. This decision
is based on a variety of factors, including the child’s age, the
physical and mental health of each parent, the child’s attachment
to the primary caregiver, any history of domestic violence or abuse and
the child’s wishes depending on the child’s age and motivation.
Modifying Custody and Visitation in Tarrant County
Certain procedures are required to change custody and visitation arrangements
depending on how those arrangements were made. If custody was granted
by court order, additional involvement by the court is required. If an
agreement was reached through mediation, a couple can return to mediation
if they cannot agree to changes on their own.
Either parent seeking any modification of custody or visitation arrangements
must show that circumstances have changed substantially and that the modification
is in the child’s best interest. Our Tarrant County Child Custody
Attorney also helps with
child support needs.
Protecting Your Child's Best Interests
At Nunneley | Family Law, we understand that child custody cases can be
emotionally challenging and complex. Our dedicated Hurst child custody
attorney is committed to acting in the best interests of your children
and helping you navigate through the legal process.
When it comes to child custody, there are different types that may be applicable
in Hurst, Texas:
Legal custody: This refers to the right to make important decisions about the child's
upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious practices.
Physical custody: This determines where the child will live on a day-to-day basis.
Sole custody: In this arrangement, one parent has both legal and physical custody of
Joint custody: Both parents share legal and/or physical custody of the child.
Shared parenting: This involves a more equal division of parenting time and responsibilities.
Split custody: In certain situations, siblings may be divided between the parents.
Child custody in Texas is determined based on the best interests of the
child, considering factors such as the child's age, relationship with
each parent, and the ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing
It's important to note that there is no specific age at which a child can
decide which parent they want to live with in Texas. The court will take
the child's preferences into account, but the final decision will be made
by the judge.
The child custody process in Texas typically involves temporary hearings,
evaluations, and, if necessary, a trial. Our experienced attorney will
guide you through each step, ensuring your rights are protected and advocating
for the best outcome for you and your child.
If you need assistance with modifying an existing custody and visitation
arrangement in Tarrant County, our attorney can help you navigate the
legal process and present a compelling case.
Why choose us? Our attorney has a proven track record of success in child
custody cases and is dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate
legal representation. We understand the importance of protecting your
child's best interests and will work tirelessly to achieve a favorable
outcome for you and your family.
Contact Nunneley | Family Law today to schedule a consultation and learn
more about how our child custody attorney can assist you. Call (817) 270-6635
or reach out to us online.