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3 important things to know about Texas child custody arrangements

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Child Custody

Parents preparing for divorce tend to worry about custody matters. They may not know what to expect, and many people have heard exaggerated worst-case scenarios about shared custody situations.

The better someone understands custody matters and how the Texas family courts handle them, the easier it may become for them to prepare for their upcoming custody case. What do parents need to know about litigated custody cases in Texas?

Parents can seek sole or joint arrangements

The Texas family courts may award custody to one or both parents in the form of sole or joint managing conservatorship. In a case where the courts decide to grant one parent sole managing conservatorship, that parent takes primary responsibility for meeting the children’s needs. The parent with sole managing conservatorship also has more time with the children and more decision-making authority regarding their upbringing. A judge might also award joint managing conservatorship which involves parents sharing responsibilities with one another.

The courts keep the focus on the children

When a Texas family law judge must make decisions about parental rights and responsibilities, the most important consideration is almost always the best interest of the children. The focus on the child’s well-being means that judges should consider the ability of parents to provide for a child’s basic needs and maintain a stable home. The emotional and physical needs of the children are also important considerations. Parents may want to consider undergoing a custody evaluation conducted by a professional. The reports these professionals produce can give crucial insight into how the courts might divide parental rights and responsibilities.

Finances and relationships matter too

The child’s quality of life after a divorce or parental breakup depends in part on the living arrangements that the adults can provide and also on their bond with their parents. Therefore, the home or someone currently lives and their income levels can influence what a judge decides to do with parenting time in particular. The relationships that the children maintain with each parent can also affect custody decisions.

Parents who are familiar with Texas state law may have a better time preparing for custody negotiations or litigation. Learning more about how Texas judges evaluate custody matters may benefit those hoping to stay as close to their children as possible.