Helping Texas Families Navigate Divorce Since 1986

Child Custody And Visitation Rights In Texas

Child custody and visitation is a rather sensitive area of family law that often gets locked up in necessary litigation. I am attorney Richard Lybarger, and I founded my practice to help families in Sugar Land and throughout the Houston area get the experienced and professional help they need with a responsible and reliable child custody attorney.

The Different Types Of Custody In Texas

In the state of Texas, there are two different types of child custody. In a joint managing conservatorship (JMC), both parents share in the rights and duties as parents. If both parents are made conservators jointly, the divorce decree will outline the different responsibilities. The judge will order which responsibilities each parent has separately and which responsibilities the parents will share jointly. In a sole managing conservatorship (SMC), only one parent has the legal right to the child. As a sole conservator, the parent has the right to make all the decisions concerning the child.

Possession And Access: Child Visitation

In Texas, divorce laws refer to physical custody as “possession” and child visitation as “access.” A judge will always have discretion to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child, especially when it comes to determining possession and access.

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody Laws In Texas

When you are navigating a divorce or a paternity action and trying to reach an agreement on child custody arrangements and child support issues, there can be a lot of questions. Here, I answer some of the more common questions about child custody. For answers to your specific questions, please reach out to schedule a consultation.

How Do A Custody Determination And The Type Of Conservatorship Impact Child Support?

In a conservatorship agreement, the noncustodial parent will usually be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. However, the judge will take the family’s circumstances into consideration and evaluate each spouse’s financial situation.

Can My Ex And I Work Together To Create Our Custody Plan?

Yes. Both parties can agree on possession and work together to create different access schedules. The more that the child’s parents can work together to come up with agreements that are in the best interest of the child within the family’s circumstances, the easier it will be to stick to the schedules and the more it will help the family transition through the changes that come with a divorce. When the parties agree, the judge will review the agreement before signing the divorce decree.

Does My Child Get To Have A Say In Child Custody And Visitation?

In the state of Texas, once a child turns 12 they will get to have a say in where they will live. However, the judge will always make decisions about custody, possession, visitation and access by considering the child’s best interests. The court will consider the family’s history, each parent’s financial situation, any history of abuse or neglect, and the child’s relationship with both parents.

My Adult Child Is Getting Divorced. I Am Worried About Being Able To See My Grandchildren. Do Grandparents Have Any Rights In Texas Divorces?

In Texas, the courts are allowed to authorize grandparent visitation time if the judge decides that it is in the child’s best interests and one of the following exists:

  • The parents are divorced or are getting divorced.
  • A child was abused or neglected by a parent.
  • A parent is deceased, declared incompetent or in jail.
  • A parent’s parental rights were terminated.
  • The child has resided with the grandparent for a lengthy period of time (at least six months).

An experienced family law attorney can advocate for a grandparent’s visitation rights. A judge will always make decisions that are based on the child’s best interests and grandparents can be an important part of a child’s life, especially during a family’s transition through divorce.

Call A Child Custody Lawyer Today

No matter what child custody issues you are facing in your divorce, including if you are a grandparent seeking custody or visitation rights with your grandchild, I can offer you advice and guidance regarding the laws in Texas. Schedule an appointment with me by calling my office at 713-678-0658 or sending me an email through my website.