In Texas custody cases, both parents to a child are generally appointed as conservators to that child. In some cases, one parent is appointed the sole managing conservator, while the other parent is appointed as the possessory conservator. In other cases, both parents are appointed joint managing conservators. The court will specify which rights and duties are to be exercised by both parents and which, if any, are to be exercised exclusively by one parent.
In any custody case, the primary consideration of the court is what is in the best interest of the child.The most common factors considered by the court in determining the best interest of the child include desires of the child, present and future emotional needs of the child, present and future dangers to the child, parental abilities, the stability of the home environment, past domestic violence and evidence of false reports of child abuse.
Absent extenuating circumstances, such as family violence, Texas courts typically find that appointing parents as joint managing conservators is in the best interest of the child. Joint managing conservatorship means that the parents share the rights, privileges, duties and powers of a parent even if one parent is given the exclusive power over some decisions. Joint managing conservatorship does not mean that each parent will have equal periods of physical possession of the child. Usually, the best interests of the child will dictate that one of the parentís home will be designated as the childís primary residence.
When there has been no family violence or danger to the child, it is usually advisable for the parties to try to come to an agreement regarding custody. A custody battle can be extremely time-consuming and expensive, and in many cases, damaging to the child. Often, each parent will be a continuing presence in the childís life and it is important to be mindful of the fact that the parents will have to coordinate with each other long after the court proceeding is over. To emphasize the importance the courts place on parental cooperation, most courts require parenting plans, parenting education classes and mediation before trial. However, if an agreement regarding custody cannot be reached trial may be the only option. It is important to discuss your position, concerns and options with an attorney before deciding to go that route.
To discuss your child custody case with a family law attorney today, please contact us at (713) 581-1090 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial consultation.
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