Who Will Make Decisions for My Children in a Texas Divorce?
When people discuss kids in a Texas divorce case, typically they are referring to two issues:
- Who gets to make decisions about a child’s welfare (such as medical care, school, religion); and
- Who gets to make decisions about a child’s residence.
When it comes to these two questions, the answers will be found in the orders signed by the court in a Texas child custody case. If your divorce or custody case is in Tyler, Texas, you can get copies of the orders online or by going to the Smith County District Clerk’s office.
In general, it is presumed to be in a child’s best interests to have both parents have joint legal custody. This means, that courts want parents to participate equally in the possession of the child as well as the education, spiritual guidance, and physical well-being of the child. Texas family lawyers call this “joint managing conservatorship.”
However, consider the situation when one parent is suffering from mental health issues, chemical dependency issues, or has some serious criminal issues. Ultimately, Texas family law courts are obligated to look out for the safety and well-being of children. In instances where it can be shown that a parent poses a threat to the health and safety of a child, courts can award sole managing conservatorship to the other parent, meaning that other parent will have the sole ability to make certain decisions. Courts can also require only supervised visitation in these instances as well.
Physical custody disputes are common. There are many ways to split custody among parents– 50/50 possession, standard possession, or even extended standard possession. None of these possession schedules are ideal because ultimately both parents are giving up time with their children due to the divorce. But, under the circumstances presented, Texas family courts try to be as fair as possible in determining who has possession of the child and who makes the decisions for the child. This is especially true of Tyler Texas family court judges.