Here at the Law Office of John R. Osborne, PLLC we’ve got your back when fighting for custody. We know kids come first and respect that.
We’ll fight tooth and nail for them. Not seeing your kids every moment can be one of the huge differences in your divorce life. For the non-custodial parent who may have been in the child’s life since birth it is a very difficult thing to comprehend as well as the other parent who watches their children leave for the weekend. Are experiences here can help guide you through your options.
Custody or conservatorship as its known it Texas is the set of rules in place as to who has control and possession of the children. Custody is set out in an order from the court. The most common orders are the Divorce Decree, when the parents were married and an order in a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship in a case where the parents weren’t married (something often referred to as a SAPCR).
In many cases the parents have Joint Custody, or they are Joint Managing Conservators as the courts are so fond of saying. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the parents have equal time with the child( which is rarely the case). This means that both the parents share the responsibility of making major decisions for the child. Major decisionswould include things such as educational and medical decisions.
The parent who has the most time with the child and usually determines where child will reside is the Custodial Parent, or Managing Conservator or Primary Conservator. The custodial parent is normally the one who receives child support.
The non-custodial parent or the possessory conservator has the right to visit with the child or take limited possession of the child. This parent is usually the one who makes child support payments.
Grandparents can also be appointed custody. In rare circumstances both parents may be unfit or unavailable and the grandparents are appointed Managing Conservators. Thus both parents may be paying them child support.
Most custody orders in Texas follow what is know as a Standard Possession Order or SPO for short. The Standard Possession Order allows for the possessory conservator or non-custodial parent to have possession of the child on the First, Third and Fifth weekend of the month and on Thursday nights for a short time. It also divides time between the holidays and over the summer. There are also special rules in place for couples that reside more than 100 miles away from each other.
Many couples will agree to other arrangements but if they can not reach an agreement than the Standard Possession Order is followed.
What determines Custody in Texas?
In determining who has custody the Courts will determine the best interest of the child. In doing so they look at several factors including
- the emotional and physical needs of the child
- possible dangers or threats to those needs.
- the fitness of the parents
- signs of neglect
- the requests of the child (over 12)
Child custody cases are some of the most complex and emotionally draining cases in the legal system,