If you are getting divorced, custody (or conservatorship, as it is called in Texas) of your children can be your top concern. It should come as a relief to know that in most cases, parents share custody when it is in a child’s best interests.
However, what this looks like specifically can vary from case to case. Below, we explain the factors that can affect your rights as a parent and the time you have with your child.
Different kinds of custody
Under Texas laws, parents have the right to have possession of their children and make decisions for them, as well as a duty to care for them. Thus, there are two categories for custody issues: conservatorship and possession and access.
Possession and access refer to the time a child is physically with the parent.
Conservatorship refers to the rights and obligations a parent has.
Typically, both parents share physical time with their children and the responsibility of making decisions for them. It may not be exactly even. One parent may be the primary caregiver or sole decision-maker when such arrangements are appropriate. However, the standard is for parents to continue playing active, meaningful roles in their children’s lives.
Personal flaws are not deal breakers
People often think that personal flaws will jeopardize their parental rights. However, rest assured that is generally not the case. No parent is perfect, and children do not need a parent to be. Making mistakes or having different approaches to parenting does not mean you will lose custody of your child.
That said, there are situations in which a parent can lose custody. Abusing, neglecting or abandoning a child can result in a loss of rights, as can imprisonment and alienation.
Finding the best solution for your family
When it comes to deciding where your children should live and who makes decisions for them, parents are typically best suited for the task. Thus, cooperating with each other to create a parenting plan can help you create arrangements that work for everyone.
If you cannot do this, a judge will decide the matter.
In either case, Fort Bend parents should remember that what matters most is their child’s well-being. And generally, children benefit from having both parents in their lives after divorce or separation.