16225 Park Ten Place, Houston, TX 77084

English | En español

Call Us832-919-6400

The Foray Firm

How is Child Custody Handled in a Texas Divorce?

Posted on in Child Custody

Fort Bend Child Conservatorship LawyerGetting divorced is complicated, regardless of family circumstances. However, divorcing parents often deal with a wider range of legal issues than couples without children. If you are thinking about divorce and you share children with your spouse, you may have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a parent, such as: How is child custody decided in Texas? Which parent does the child live with? Who is responsible for making decisions regarding the child's health, education, and welfare?

Basics of Child Custody in Texas

Texas law uses somewhat unique language to describe child custody matters in a divorce. The Texas Family Code describes "conservatorship" as the right to make decisions about a child's welfare and his or her upbringing. It also discusses the rights of "possession and access,” which refers to the amount of time a parent will spend with the child.

A sole managing conservator has sole authority to make major decisions about a child's welfare, such as healthcare and educational needs. A joint managing conservator typically has joint decision-making authority with the other parent. Where joint managing conservatorship is granted, one of the parents will have primary possession and access to the child and be considered the "primary conservator.” Usually, this is the parent with whom the child will primarily reside.

How Does the Court Decide on Resolutions During Custody Issues?

If the parents cannot agree on conservatorship and possession and access issues, the court will make the final decision for them. When determining child custody, Texas courts are guided by the "best interest of the child" standard.

During a child custody dispute, Texas courts typically consider factors such as:

  • The child's needs

  • Each parent's relationship with the child

  • Each parent's ability to take care of the child

  • Each parent's ability to provide a safe and stable home environment for the child

  • The child's opinions regarding conservatorship (if he or she is old enough to express an opinion)

  • Any instances of domestic violence or abuse by either parent

Modifying a Child Custody Order

Life is full of changes, and parents may occasionally need to modify their child custody arrangements. If a parent wishes to change the conservatorship arrangement, he or she can request a modification from the court.

There are three main situations in which a Texas court will grant a custody modification:

  • A parent or child experienced a significant change in circumstances necessitating a modification

  • The child is at least 12 years old and wishes to live with the other parent

  • A parent voluntarily relinquishes his or her rights

Contact Our Houston Child Custody Lawyers

At The Foray Firm, our Katy divorce attorneys understand how difficult it can be to navigate child custody and other family law matters. We provide skillful, personalized representation to clients in Houston, Katy, Fort Bend, and the surrounding areas. If you need help with any child custody issues, contact us today for a confidential consultation.




state bar of texas The National Bar Association AILA Fort Bend County HLA
Back to Top