Types of Custody in Texas Come With Certain Parental Rights
Texas law provides that parents of a child have certain rights at all times. When the parents divorce, or there is a custody dispute, the court’s job is to divide up the rights or to order that they be shared between the parents according to the types of custody the court awards. Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C., is highly experienced with the rights of parents and can advocate for parents facing custody issues.
The firm’s founding partners are Shannon Boudreaux and Kevin Hunter. Ms. Boudreaux graduated from South Texas College of Law in 2003. She was named to the Dean’s list as a student. Ms. Boudreaux’s entire legal career has focused on family law. Mr. Hunter took a different route to the law. He joined the United States Air Force where he became a firefighter. Later, he also attended South Texas College of Law where he distinguished himself in moot court competitions. The firm is familiar with the types of custody.
There are many parental rights. Some of the more important rights are:
- to designate the residence of the child;
- to consent to the child’s medical and dental care, and psychiatric, psychological, and surgical treatment; and
- to make decisions concerning the child’s education.
Depending on the types of custody, a divorce court either grants these rights to both parents, or the court assigns them to one of the parents.
Types of Custody
Texas’ terminology for custody is unique. A parent with custody is called a “managing conservator.” If both parents have custody, they are called “joint managing conservators.” If only one parent has custody, that parent is the “sole managing conservator.” In that case, the other parent has visitation rights and is called the “possessory conservator.” For clarity, we will use custody and visitation to describe these types of custody.
Sole Custody and Visitation – In the types of custody when one parent has custody and the other parent has visitation rights, the parent with custody is the one who makes the decisions about the child. But the parent who has visitation rights also has certain rights at all times, just the same as the parent with custody.
There are many rights in these types of custody, too. One important right is to information concerning the health, education and welfare of the child, including access to medical and school records. Another is the right to confer with the other parent before any decision is made on these issues. Yet another is to confer with school officials and attend school events. But a court has the power to take these rights away from the parent with visitation if that parent abuses them.
Joint Custody – Of the types of custody, joint custody is preferred. The courts grant joint custody to parents when they have shown the ability to work together in the best interest of the child. In that event, the parents are expected to agree on exercising the various rights with respect to their children.
Special Issues With Types of Custody
There tend to be three rights on which parents sometimes disagree. In these cases, the court has the power to give only one of the parents that particular right. They are education, medical treatment, and residence.
In these types of custody, sometimes the parents simply disagree about education, perhaps on which private school the child should attend, or on private versus public school. The same situation can arise with respect to medical issues. One parent might have more faith in one doctor than another, or the parents might disagree as to the appropriate treatment for the child.
Finally, the right to choose the residence of the child is not something that ordinarily can be split. The child either lives with one parent or the other parent. In some cases, parents make agreements to have unusual types of custody by having a child live with one parent for a week, then the other parent, and continue to alternate. But these situations are not common.
If you should require assistance in a custody dispute, you should consult with lawyers who are experienced in the various types of custody. The lawyers at Texas Child Custody Attorneys can assist you.
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In some cases, parents can reach an agreement about all relevant issues without a court hearing. This is often accomplished through mediation. In contentious cases, however, this is not possible. When a couple is unable to work out these issues on their own, their only option is to litigate the case in court.
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Do you have additional questions about the types of child custody in Texas? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We understand how difficult it can be to go through a divorce, even if you are the one who made the decision. Our entire staff is here to offer the support, guidance, and compassionate representation you deserve.