Child Custody FAQs

 
  • If I have sole custody of my children and wish to move out of state, can my ex-spouse prevent this to remain close to them?
     
    That depends on the decree agreed upon by the spouses during the divorce. For example, the decree may state that if the spouse with the custody wishes to relocate, they must provide at least 60 days’ notice of their intention. Your state’s child custody laws will also affect the decision. In some states, consent must be given by the non-custodial parent. Also, a full custody evaluation may be issued to ensure that certain criteria are met, such as:
    • The relocation will provide a better quality of life for the children involved
    • The distance of relocation may result in longer less frequent visitations from the non-custodial parent
    • Ensuring that you will follow the changes in visitation rights brought on by the relocation
    • That you will agree to provide payment for the cost of transportation for the children to be with the other parent
    • That the relocation is not a form of retaliation in which the other parent will be restricted from being with the children
    Always consult with an attorney to get a better understanding of what consequences, if any, could arise if you decide to relocate.
  • What Is A Custodial Parent?
     
    A custodial parent, also known as a managing conservator, is assigned primary custody of a child. He or she will decide where the child is to live, and provides food and clothing for the child. This responsibility is assigned during a divorce or separation.
  • What Is A Non-Custodial Parent?
     
    The non-custodial parent is the parent who does not have primary custody of the child or children involved. This is also known as a possessory conservator. He or she is normally required to pay child support and is granted visitation rights.
  • How can I help my kids emotionally while going through a divorce?
     
    Convincing a young child that divorce is permanent can be hard when his longing fantasies that somehow, mom and dad, will get back together. They rely on wishful thinking to cope with the loss. If you still get together with your ex at family functions, you are only fueling that fantasy. Try to keep a distant but amicable relationship with your ex during your divorce as to avoid unnecessary issues during the proceedings.
  • Who is more likely to be granted child custody, the father or mother?
     
    Depending on the age of the child, the mother will most likely be granted custody due to a clause known as the “tender years” doctrine. Usually, if a child is under 5, they will go to the mother. The doctrine has been eliminated in most states due to the unfairness it presents to the father and is further denounced by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, in most cases, the mother will still receive full custody based on agreement by both parents so long as the father has a reasonable amount of presence in the child’s life.
  • Can I be granted full custody of my child if I have proof my ex-spouse is abusing him/her?
     
    If you suspect that your ex-spouse is in any way placing your child in danger, immediately alert both the Court and Child Welfare Services. Consciously ignoring any abuse of any sort could implicate you as well as your ex-spouse.
  • What role does domestic violence play in parental child custody rights during the divorce process?
     
    Domestic violence is a serious matter in Texas and can be filed under Cruelty, a Texas ground for divorce. In a divorce case, if domestic violence is filed, the court will take the claim into serious consideration after the victim provides sufficient proof. Proof will contribute greatly in deciding child custody rights, because the child’s best interest is a main priority in Texas. Therefore, individuals who are accused of domestic violence can be denied custody rights. One main key to this issue is to never make false claims about domestic violence to gain the upper hand in child custody rights.
  • What Is Joint Custody?
     
    Joint custody is when both parents participate in and make decisions in how to raise the child. There are two types of joint custody: joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Each state has its own view regarding the concept of joint custody and what factors must be taken into consideration.
  • In a child custody battle, which parent has the right to determine the child’s primary residence?
     
    The Texas court will grant one parent the definitive right to select a child’s primary residence (where the child will live). Once one parent is granted this right, the other parent does not have the authority to make decisions or enforce his or her preference for primary residence.
  • What are the two types of managing conservatorship in Texas?
     
    The two types are sole managing conservatorship and joint managing conservatorship. A sole conservator is allowed to determine the health, educational and religious aspects in a child’s life amongst other aspects. Joint conservators are two conservators selected by the court responsible for making important lifestyle decisions concerning the child. However, one conservator will be granted superiority over the other.
  • What is physical custody?
     
    A parent who is granted physical custody, or conservatorship, in Texas is called a possessory conservator. The possessory conservator bears the duty of making schooling, medical, housing, and other decisions for the child.
  • Can a mother lose a custody battle?
     
    Yes, it is possible. A judge solely considers the child’s best interest. A judge can grant either parent physical custody. Judges do not discriminate against fathers during custody battles.