Divorce can be a stressful situation for a childless couple. When a divorce suit includes child custody arrangements, the mental and emotional stressors can increase exponentially. Texas child custody laws are geared toward serving the best interests of the children, not the personal agendas of the parents, in determining which parent gets physical custody of any children from the marriage. These laws also contain provisions for parenting plans, relocation of the custodial parent, and the impact of domestic violence on the family.
Functions of Texas Child Custody Laws
Family law judges are tasked with interpreting Texas child custody laws to fulfill the best interests of the children. The court must strive to create a custody order that attends to the children’s physical, mental, and emotional necessities. The judge may grant physical and legal custody to a sole conservator or order that both parents act together as joint conservators. Even in cases where the court awards custody to one parent, the objective is still to furnish the child with proactive participation by both parents. These rulings encourage the parents to cooperate in providing a stable home environment for the children.
Texas Child Custody Laws and Parenting Plans
In 2005, the state legislature amended the Texas child custody laws by requiring that each parent submit parenting plans to the court. A parenting plan can act as either a temporary or final court order that establishes the rights and responsibilities of the divorcing parents. The parenting plan includes language concerning issues such as conservatorship, physical custody, visitation schedules and child support payments. The plan must also include procedures to allow the parents to resolve future custody and visitation disputes.
Texas Child Custody Laws and Relocation
Texas child custody laws have some severe restrictions on custodial parents looking to relocate with their children. Most initial custody orders forbid the custodial parent from relocating outside their home county or bordering counties without approval from the court. The non-custodial parent has the option of filing a temporary restraining order to prevent the relocation until the judge can convene a relocation hearing. The custodial parent can present their reasons for relocating at the hearing, such as a job change or family issues, but that may not relocate out of state simply to interfere with the non-custodial parent’s relationship with the children.
Texas Child Custody Laws and Domestic Violence
If the court finds that one parent has a history of physical or sexual abuse against the spouse or any of the children, Texas child custody laws prevent that parent from participating in a joint custody arrangement. Texas law also prohibits a parent from having physical custody of any children if that parent has a record of domestic violence during the previous two years, or if that parents has sexually abused any children from the marriage.
Know Your Rights Under Texas Child Custody Laws
If your case involves Texas child custody laws, please get in touch with us at 1-888-252-4668. Our intake team will discuss your case and connect you with one of our child custody attorneys. You can also provide us with your information by filling out the “CONFIDENTIAL EVALUATION” form at the top of this page.
Our highly skilled divorce/custody attorneys require a minimum retainer of $3,000.00 to handle high-conflict cases. If this retainer is financially unfeasible to you, we may not be the right fit for your legal needs.