Child Custody

Under the Family Code “conservatorship” or “custody” means the right a parent has to make certain decisions relating to their child. The Court or the parties by agreement will include the right to determine where the child lives, the right to determine where the child goes to school and to make other educational decisions for the child, the right to consent to certain medical procedures, and other specific rights, as set out in the Texas Family Code. In most cases, these rights can be shared by the parents or one parent may hold these rights exclusively. Also, one parent may have more rights than the other parent or the parent may share the rights.

In Texas, there is a presumption that it is in the best interest of the child that the parties be appointed Joint managing conservators. However, this presumption may be rebutted based on the conduct of the other parent and the Court may grant a parent as sole managing conservator and a possessory conservator instead of joint managing conservator. You should discuss the difference between sole and joint conservatorship with your lawyer.

Under the Texas Family Code, there is a presumption that it’s in the best interest of the child to allow a “non-custodial” parent to have a standard possession order of a child. Basically, a Standard Possession Order allows a parent have visitation with a child every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Fridays of each month at 6:00 p.m. until the following Sunday at 6:00 p.m. or return to school the following Monday; on Thursdays of each week during the regular school term beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., or the noncustodial parent may choose to have the child, beginning at the time school is recessed on Thursday and ending at the time school resumes on the following Friday; 30 days in the summer; and every other holiday period. Please refer to section 153.316 of the Texas Family Code.