Divorce can be a daunting process no matter what your circumstances may be. Of course, the process can become even more complicated when children are involved. To help you understand more about Texas child custody laws, we have answered four frequently asked questions, which can be found below.
1. What are the Two Different Categories of Child Custody in Texas?
These categories are conservatorship as well as possession and access. Below are the explanations of both.
Conservatorship: This deals with the duties and rights of a parent and can include:
- School decisions
- Health decisions
- Medical decisions
- Psychiatric decisions
When both parents are responsible for making these important choices, it is considered joint managing conservatorship. When one spouse is responsible for making all of the decisions, it is considered sole managing conservatorship.
Possession and Access: This refers to the physical custody and visitation rights of the parents. In Texas, there are two statutory possession and access schedules: standard and extended standard. It is the parents’ responsibility to determine the best schedule based on the best interest of the child. In complex cases where parents strongly disagree, a judge may have to assess the situation and make the final decision.
2. How Does a Judge Determine the Amount of Child Support Owed?
To determine the amount of money needed to fulfill child support, a judge will assess the child’s needs and best interests. A judge may consider the following factors.
- Physical needs
- Emotional needs
- Stability of the home
- Future plans for the child
- Parent cooperation
- Skills of each parents
- Child’s primary caregiver
- Geographic proximity of the child from the parent(s)
- Reports of child abuse
3. If the Other Parent Does Not Pay Child Support, Can I Refuse that Parent Visitation?
No. Child support and visitation do not rely on each other. Therefore, you cannot refuse the other parent their visitation rights is they do not pay child support. Instead, the court can reassess the situation and determine how much time the other parents should be allowed to visit with the child and the amount of child support owed by that parent.
4. Can My Child Decide Which Parent They Want to Live With?
In Texas, a child is not allowed to decide whom they will live with until they are 12 years old. However, the judge may consider the child’s desire before making a final decision of whom will be the child’s primary caregiver.
Have More Question Regarding Child Custody or Support?
An Austin child custody attorney at The Law Office of Janet McCullar, P.C. is ready to help you successfully navigate the divorce and custody process. When you become our client, we will make sure to protect your right and interests, and the best interests of your children.
If you are contemplating divorce, or have any question or concerns regarding child support or custody, contact the Austin divorce lawyers from our firm today! We have a passion for helping families.