As a mother, custody rights in Texas are in your favor. However, having the proper knowledge to make decisions for your child is important. Like many states, mothers have certain privileges with child custody. Texas believes a child’s access to their mother is the best circumstance. Mother’s custody rights reflect this sentiment. Though mothers have certain privileges compared to fathers and grandparents, knowing the ins-and-outs of custody rights will aid you in gaining custody of your child if the time arises.
The Basics on Texas Custody Rights
Child custody rights in Texas, and most other states, grant a particular set of rights to a person who has custody of a child. Custody of a child comes in two forms. It can show as legal custody rights and physical custody rights. Legal custody rights give a person the right to be a child’s custodian. This allows them to make legal decisions for the child. These decisions could range from health decisions to schooling.
In Texas, these rights extend to allow the legal custodians to decide what type of religious instruction a child receives. A person who has legal custody rights of a child can make these decisions alone. It means they can do so without the influence of the other parent’s opinion or influence. Compared to legal custody rights, physical custody rights can get a little more complicated. That is because they involve both parents. Physical custody rights to a single parent generally happen when both parents live in the same home while not married.
In this case, one parent is the primary physical custodian. That person pays for the child’s needs and living situation. The other parent simply has physical custody rights that allow that parent to be present with their child in the home. Another type of physical custody rights is joint physical custody. Joint physical custody allows for the child to live with their parents an equal amount of time throughout the year in separate locations. It’s possible to hold both legal and physical custody rights at the same time.
Unmarried Mother Custody Rights in Texas
Now that you know the basics of child custody in Texas, you will need to know your rights as a mother of a child. Unmarried women have certain privileges compared to unmarried fathers with their biological child. Unmarried women in Texas have the position of the sole custodian of her child. This means that an unmarried woman in Texas can make all legal decisions concerning her child without the biological father. She does not even have to worry about his opinion on those decisions.
However, the biological father can establish his paternity to gain those rights. He does this by submitting an acknowledgement of paternity form or by taking a DNA test and submitting it to a family court for approval. In the first instance, the father and mother of a child can mutually agree that both parties should have the right to make legal decisions for their child. In that case, the father and mother both fill out a form, where a family court will review it.
If both parties can’t agree, then the father can file a paternity action in family court. For this, he must submit a DNA test to confirm he is the biological father. Once it’s confirmed he is the biological father by the court, the father will share custody of the child with the mother.
Married Mother’s Custody Rights in Texas
Compared to unmarried mothers, married mothers’ custody rights in Texas are the same as the father’s rights. Upon the birth of their child, a married couple share custody of their child. This differs greatly from the case with unmarried women. Unlike unmarried fathers, a married father has the automatic right to share custody with his wife. There are only three circumstances in which this is not the case. The first is if another man files a paternity action and proves he is the biological father. The second is if the couple divorce. The third is if the man is guilty of abuse through the court. Contrary to belief, joint custody still exists between a husband and wife until a divorce is final. Until it is final, the father of a child can legally help make decisions concerning a child’s well-being, health, and religion.
Divorcing Rights for Mothers When it Comes to Custody
Divorcing mother’s custody right in Texas are similar to those of the father. In days past, a judge typically favored mothers. However, judges of today follow strict guidelines to determine which parent is better suited for taking care of their child. A judge will look at a few factors, including the child’s emotional needs, the child’s physical needs, the stability of each home, and any history of neglect from either parent. It may also be possible for a judge to consider whom the child would like to live with as well.
However, the child must be at least 12 years old before the judge will consider the child’s wishes. When a mother files for divorces, she can also file for temporary custody allowing her to remove her child from the father. The court may award temporary custody for a variety of reasons, and in some particular situations, it may be necessary for the health of a child.
Judges who award temporary custody during a divorce will typically choose whoever gains temporary custody during the divorce as the primary custodian of a child after divorce. However, if the other party calls attention to good reasons why temporary custody shouldn’t turn into permanent custody, the judge may award primary custody to the other party.
A Family Lawyer Will Help You Maintain Your Custody Rights
Changing the custody of a child can be difficult, especially when you have none to advocate for your child custody rights in Texas. Fortunately, a family law attorney can make sure you get what you deserve in a divorce and arrange for a clean transition after divorce. Cross Family Law understands the importance a child can mean to their mother, and we’re here to help! We guarantee we will do what is best for your child in any situation.