Even though marriages may end, parenthood is a lifelong commitment. When sorting through the many issues involved in the divorce process, child custody is at the top of the list for many couples. We’ve found there’s often confusion or lack of knowledge about the child custody options available and what they mean for each parent.

You would do anything for your kids—and naturally—you believe that having sole custodyof your children is in their best interest. However, the term “full custody” has no meaning in today’s Texas Family Courts.

Consider some of the many variations of full custody. Perhaps a parent may only want the other parent to see the children on his or her terms. Some parents do not want their kids to have any overnight stays with the other parent. Or, a parent may want to make all of the decisions regarding the children. In some instances, one parent may want to be the custodial parent to simply gain the upper hand for their own self-interest, not necessarily for the children’s best interest.

When it comes to child custody in Texas, the presumption is that joint managing conservators – or joint custody– is in the child’s best interest, even if the parents have not agreed to the arrangement.

The courts also consider each parent’s rights and duties. There are some rights and duties that parents have at all times. However, the “main parent” is determined by the following rights:

  • The right to determine where the child lives.
  • The right to make school decisions.
  • The right to make invasive medical decisions.

The parent without these three rights is determined to be the parent with a “possession schedule” and must also pay child support.

Still have questions about legal custody? Hoppes and Cutrer has answers. Call our office at 817-283-3999 to schedule a consultation with a child custody lawyer.