Issues regarding child custody are often the foremost concern of married parents who have decided to get a divorce. This is only natural, as ending your marriage will almost certainly have a significant impact on the amount of time you are able to spend with your child, and you and your soon-to-be-ex may have vastly different ideas about the way in which the children will be raised. Here are some of the things you should understand about child custody in Texas divorce cases.
It is Not Called “Child Custody”
While lawyers and judges may informally refer to “custody’ when discussing how parents will share parenting time and responsibilities, the Texas law uses the terms “conservatorship” and “possession and access.” “Conservatorship” refers to the right to make decisions about the way that the child is raised, and “possession and access” refers to time spent with the child or time spent visiting the child. Texas provides for two standardized possession and access plans, but judges are free to modify these as they see fit.
You Will Need a Parenting Plan
If your divorce involves children, you will need to submit a parenting plan to the court. A parenting plan is a document that outlines the duties and rights of year parent with regard to the child, including the following:
- Which parent will have the right to choose the child’s primary residence
- The way in which the parents will share decision making responsibility
- A visitation schedule that outlines when the child will be with each parent
- The way in which parents will attempt to resolve disputes prior to going to court
Judges Have Significant Discretion in Making Decisions about Child Custody
As a parent, it is important to be aware of the fact that judges have significant discretion when they make decisions about child custody. These determinations are always made in consideration of the best interests of the child, and judges will consider any factor that they deem relevant. As a result, it is important to do everything in your power to present the strongest case possible, which starts with retaining an experienced attorney.
Contact a Katy, Texas Divorce Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you are considering divorce or are currently involved in an active child custody dispute, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with Katy divorce lawyer Frank J. Vendt, Jr., call our office today at 832-276-9474 or contact us online.