Texas Child Custody Laws

Texas Child Custody Issues & Resources

Texas Child Custody

Texas child custody is determined based upon the best interests of the child. The factors to be considered by a Texas Court in determining the terms and conditions for possession of a child by the possessory conservator (parent with visitation) are as follows:
  • the age, circumstances, needs, and best interests of the child;

  • the circumstances of the parents;

  • evidence of any spouse or child abuse; and 

  • any other relevant factor.

The factors specified in the Texas statute for consideration in decisions regarding joint managing conservatorship are:

  • whether the physical, psychological, or emotional needs and development of the child will benefit; 

  • the ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child's best interests; 

  • whether each parent can encourage and accept a positive relationship between the child and the other parent; 

  • whether both parents participated in child rearing before the filing of the suit; 

  • the geographical proximity of the homes of the parents; 

  • if the child is 14 years old or older, the preference of the child; and 

  • any other relevant factor. 

There are standard terms for a Texas court's order on a child's conservatorship set out in the statute that are presumed to be the minimum allowable time that the parent who is not awarded the primary physical residence of the child is to have the child.

The court may not award joint managing conservatorship is there is any credible evidence of spousal or child abuse or neglect. The court will award joint managing conservatorship based on an agreement between the parents if the agreement: 

  • establishes the county of residence of the child;

  • states the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child's present and future care, support, and education;

  • includes provisions to minimize disruption of the child's schooling, daily routine and association with friends;

  • was entered into voluntarily and knowingly; and

  • is in the best interests of the child.

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