Divorcing couples who have children should prioritize their children’s well-being, happiness, and health. If you are in this situation, you need to understand the basics. You and your spouse must reach a child custody arrangement that works for all parties involved. Working closely with an experienced attorney from a child custody law firm near me will help you have a better understanding of the process and the decisions you must make. Read on to know some important information about child custody in the state of Texas:
Child Custody Arrangements Can Stall Your Divorce
Your divorce can only be finalized after child custody arrangements are addressed. Also, you and your spouse must agree on other major issues such as marital property division, child support, and spousal support.
If you and your spouse agree on who will take primary custody of your children and the visitation schedules you are ahead of the game. Although you can negotiate through your respective lawyers or through mediation, you still retain decision-making power in this matter. But, if you can’t reach an agreement, the court will do so for you.
Important Child Custody Terms
Texas uses the term conservatorship in place of child custody. Conservatorship includes the managing conservator and the possessory conservator. The first party is the parent with the right and responsibility to make significant decisions for the children. But, the presumption is that both parents will share joint conservatorship and make important decisions together. These include their children’s education, religious education, non-emergency health care, and extracurricular activities. The children will live primarily with the primary conservatorship. Meanwhile, possessory conservator refers to when the children are with you and when they are with their other parents.
A lot of parents seek sole custody of their children. In some circumstances, a parent is awarded sole possessory custody, which means that they can have the exclusive right to make decisions for the children. Also, this means the children live mainly with this parent and have a visitation schedule with the other. But, this is rare. In Texas, child custody decisions are based on the children’s best interests. And the court presumes that maintaining a close relationship with both parents is in their best interest.
Child support in the state is calculated according to state guidelines. Both parents are deemed responsible for offering financial support to their children. The parent who has the primary custody is considered to be fulfilling this responsibility as they provide for the children every day. Because of this, the other parent often pays child support to the parent who has primary custody.