Determining Child Custody in Texas

In Texas, child custody is referred to as conservatorship. A parent who has custody of a child is not his or her “custodian,” rather his or her conservator. Conservatorship grants parental rights and responsibilities, such as the right to make decisions about the child’s education, religious upbringing, and healthcare.

If both parents can agree on a parenting plan in a joint conservatorship, that plan can be submitted to the court for approval. If the parents cannot agree, they must take their case before a family law judge. Texas courts determine custody arrangements based on the child’s best interests. With that in mind, the court will order either a joint conservatorship or a sole conservatorship.

Physical custody and visitation rights are separate issues that are decided by the court in a schedule known as a standard possession order. This schedule is based on court guidelines. If both parents can agree to a schedule, it can be submitted to the judge for approval. Otherwise, the judge will create a schedule believed to be appropriate for the child. In cases where a parent has a history of domestic violence, alcoholism, or substance abuse, that parent will likely be denied access to his or her child.

Modifying a Custody Order

If your existing custody order no longer fits your lifestyle or meets your needs, you can request a modification. To successfully modify an order, you will have to prove that a substantial life or financial change necessities the modification. Our El Paso child custody attorney can represent you in your efforts to modify an order or prevent a modification from passing.

For dedicated legal assistance with this family law matter, contact Linette Aguirre-Gonzalez, PLLC at (915) 642-0466.

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