There are many different types of custody in Texas; however, joint child custody in Texas is the most promoted type by the court system. This is partly to do with the fact Texas believes that a child’s life is better with both parent’s involvement rather than just a single parent’s involvement. The other types of custody that aren’t joint custody are legal and physical custody. Legal custody gives a parent the sole right to make legal decisions for their child without the aid of another party.

Physical custody is the possession of a child after divorce. It’s possible to have possession of a child after divorce, but not hold legal custody. It’s also possible to hold both legal and physical custody of a child. Since Texas courts usually rule in the favor of joint custody, it’s important to know what that means to you as a parent.

How Does Joint Custody Work in Texas?

Joint custody in Texas varies compared to other states in the United States. Many refer to it as shared custody. This means both parents have a say in a child’s well-being and upbringing. Entering into joint custody after divorce means that one parent holds possessory conservatorship of a child. This simply means that the child will live with one parent while the other parents lives in a different location.

No matter who houses the child, each parent has an equal say in how to raise the child. Parents both decide on a child’s health care, schooling, and religious upbringing. However, it’s possible that a judge may rule that sole conservatorship is necessary when one parent is abusive or unfit to parent for any other reason. In this case, the parent granted sole conservatorship is allowed to choose housing location, schooling, healthcare, and religious teaching for their child without input from the other parent or other party.

Joint Custody in Texas: Are There Alternatives?

Though joint child custody in Texas is favored by the court system, there are some circumstances where it isn’t preferred. Instead, third party custody may be an option. Third party custody involves a person who isn’t one of the child’s biological parents taking on the responsibility to raise that child. This most often happens with the closest living relative, such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.

Custody rights in Texas extend past a child’s parents.The court may rule that grandparents can receive custody of a child after both parents die. It’s also possible for grandparents to receive custody of their grandchild if both parents are ruled unfit to care for the child. This could be due to neglect, abuse, or drug use. However, Texas courts almost always favor giving custody rights to a single parent over giving custody rights to a grandparent.

Joint Custody and Visitation

In most instances following a divorce, a family court will rule that the non-custodial parent of a child will get visitation rights. Unlike the visitation rights of grandparents, parental visitation rights are usually established after a divorce. They must be followed strictly. Texas visitation laws allow a parent who lives within 100 miles or outside of 100 miles of the custodial parent a certain amount of time with their child. For within 100 miles, a noncustodial parent is allotted 30 days of visitation over the summer months. They also get alternating weekends, alternating holidays, and Thursday nights during school time.

Parents who live greater than 100 miles away from the custodial parent are allotted 42 days of visitation during the summer. They also get alternating holidays, but no week days during school time. It may be the case that parents who live greater than 100 miles away will set up an individual weekend rotation to see their child. Though joint custody typically guarantees visitation time to the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent can deny access to visitation for certain reasons revolving around abuse or neglect. However, it’s not possible to stop making child support payments if the custodial parent does not allow for visitation time.

Does Joint Custody in Texas Allow for Child Support?

You may be wondering, “Does joint child custody in Texas allow for child support?” It’s a good question. After a divorce, you want to make sure that your child has the necessary resources to be taken care of properly. Child support can help you do that. In short, yes. Joint custody does allow for one parent to receive child support payments from another parent. Typically, the parent who houses their child will receive child support payments. This helps the custodial parent to afford clothes, food, and housing for the child as well as any other child-related supplies needed for upbringing a child.

Child support in Texas extends until a child has reached the age of 18. However, some circumstances can extend the amount of time a noncustodial parent is obligated to make payments. If a child becomes disabled or is disabled, child support payments may last a lifetime. That way, the child has access to the proper medical treatment and aid. Not paying child support properly could lead to up to a $10,000 fine and a jail sentence. It may also be necessary to pay back child support for the amount not paid to the custodial parent.

Why Having a Family Law Attorney Benefits You

Joint child custody in Texas has many facets. You may not know where to start. You want the best for your child after divorce, but aren’t quite sure about all the laws and regulations. Plus, you might also not know how they will affect your life. Being aware of the basics of joint custody for any parent going through a divorce is good. However, knowing just the basics won’t ensure your child gets what’s best for them.

Sometimes filing for divorce can turn nasty and be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Let someone else handle all the details so you can focus on your child. Cross Family Law can help you free up time. We have years of experience in Texas family law. We’ll offer you the best family law attorneys available. It’s better to get in contact with a family law attorney sooner than later in order to get the process over as soon as possible.

If you need help with joint child custody in Texas, please contact Cross Family Law at (972) 665-9880 today.