Although parents clearly have rights under Texas law, the primary concern of the courts is what is in the best interests of the child. The preference, absent any negative factors to the contrary, is for both parents to have an equal role in parenting. However, as an Austin child custody attorney can explain, there are many issues that determine the manner in which child custody is resolved.
Under the Texas Family Code, the goal after the dissolution of a marriage is to provide the child with a safe, stable non-violent environment with regular and frequent contact with each parent who has demonstrated an ability to act in that child’s best interests. Child custody is divided into physical custody and legal custody. An Austin child custody attorney reports that based on the facts and circumstances, sole or joint custody will be awarded.
The type of custody most often awarded in Texas is what is referred to as joint managing conservatorship. This is where the parents share equally in making decisions about raising the child in areas such as which school to attend, religious choices and extracurricular activities. A shared living arrangement is most common with the child actually having two different homes. Sole managing conservatorship may be awarded if there is some indication or history that suggests the child will not be safe or well cared for by one parent. An Austin child custody attorney cites domestic violence or abuse as examples that would likely lead to one parent having sole custody. Where a parent does not have joint managing conservatorship, they still may be awarded sole possessing conservatorship, which means they may see the child on a specified visitation schedule.
Where the parents can amicably work out a custody arrangement that satisfies both parties, the court will most likely approve of that agreement. Where no common ground can be found, the court will makes its order after considering all relevant factors.
If you are facing the prospect of the dissolution of your marriage, it is important to understand the legal implications. Call the experienced Austin Child Custody Attorneys of Nunis & Associates at (512) 236-9696.