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How Do I Get Child Custody in Texas?

If you’re considering requesting full, joint, or shared custody of a child, know that child custody cases can often become quite contentious. Texas courts and lawmakers make child custody decisions based on the child's best interests, which can be difficult for parents or guardians. However, having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you navigate the process and help you receive the best possible outcome for you and your child.

Texas Family Code

The State of Texas has some unique laws surrounding child custody and other family law-related matters. The Texas Family Code states the rights and responsibilities of each parent. It does not differentiate between a child’s mother or father, and both parents have the same and equal rights and responsibilities.

However, the code states that: the rights and duties of a parent are subject to:

(1) a court order affecting the rights and duties;

(2) an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights; and

(3) an affidavit by the parent designating another person or agency to act as managing conservator.

Child Custody Agreement

According to the Texas Family Code, both parents may have a conservatorship of their children. In Texas, the word ‘conservatorship’ is the legal version of the term ‘custody.’ However, a child custody agreement can change those rights. A custody agreement lays out exactly which parent is responsible for which duties.

Creating a child agreement is often recommended for parents who have never been married or are no longer together. Without one, there is nothing for a judge to enforce. This includes any plans or verbal agreements, and either parent could take their child whenever they please. In addition to setting boundaries for raising your child, a custody agreement can also lay out a schedule for when each parent will physically have their child.

Child Support

Lastly, when going to a judge for child custody, you can also request child support. Child support can be beneficial to the parent who has the child for the majority of the year to help them cover clothing, childcare, medical and schooling costs. Working with a lawyer can help you understand what your child support obligation may look like or what to expect in a child support payment.

If you have family law or business law questions, please do not hesitate to contact The Stuart Firm at (432) 284-4411. We offer consultations, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.