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San Antonio Child Custody Lawyer

Conservatorship & Visitation Rights in Texas

After a divorce or separation, one highly contentious issue for the couple to decide on is custody and visitation of their child or children. Custody can be divided in many ways, and each case is unique, which means it's important to be properly represented by a San Antonio child custody attorney.

Under Texas law, there are two types of child custody or conservatorship that a judge can award to either parent - Joint and Sole Managing Conservatorship.

  • Joint Managing Conservatorship - Both parents have custody rights over the child and share responsibility.
  • Sole Managing Conservatorship - One parent is granted full custody rights and responsibility for making decisions about the child's upbringing.

Let our child custody attorneys in San Antonio help you. Contact us or call (210) 405-6623 to schedule your initial consultation!

What is “Full” Custody in Texas?

People often say that they want to get “full” custody when settling their divorce. Technically, in Texas, if you look at all of the laws regarding custody and visitation, the word “full” is never used. However, Texas does view parental rights in two aspects:

  • What decision-making rights are you going to have over your child?
  • When are you going to have possession of your child?

With the first, we are talking about a variety of decisions such as taking your child to the doctor, what tutoring program they should attend, or whether they should be able to marry before they turn 18. One of the most important decisions is deciding where your child lives. If you are granted the right to decide where your child lives, then that typically (but not always) coincides with you having more physical possession of your child out of the 365 days in the year. Typically, if you decide where your child lives, the other parent is the “non-custodial” parent and they have visitation. That leads to the second aspect.

With the second aspect of parenting, we are simply talking about when you and your ex are going to have visitation with your child. There are an infinite number of ways to set up visitation. Every case is unique, so make sure you meet with an attorney to discuss all of your options.

How Custody is Determined in Texas

In determining legal custody of their children, both parents can try to work together to divide up conservatorship without the involvement of the courts. However, if they are unable to agree, a judge will need to make a custody ruling.

Texas courts often want both parents involved in the life of the child, so they will try to award some type of joint conservatorship when possible, even if one parent has more rights than the other. In cases where it seems detrimental or not in the best interest of the child to have joint conservatorship, they will give sole custody to one parent and the other parent may receive visitation rights.

The judge may also choose to award sole conservatorship in cases where the other parent has been absent, has a history of drug use, has been violent, or for other reasons that may not seem in the best interest of the child.

The court takes several factors into consideration when deciding child custody:

  • The parental ability of both parties
  • The current and future needs of the child
  • The child's desire
  • Potential dangers to the child
  • Available programs to help the parents
  • The stability of both parties
  • Plans each parent has for the child

Visitation rights, referred to as possession and access, could be given in cases where a parent does not receive conservatorship but the court still believes the parent should be allowed specified visits with the child. A schedule, or standard possession order, that details these visitations can be drafted and both parents can work to create this together or else the court will step in and make the schedule.

Quality Representation for Your Custody Case

Whether you are considering going through a divorce or have ended your relationship with the parent of your child, determining custody rights can be difficult and emotional. Having a detailed and enforceable agreement that specifies child custody rights is important. In the event that you and the other parent do not see eye to eye, a legal plan can be a protection and can reduce conflict by clearly stating expectations.

Custody situations can be difficult, complex, and tense. Our qualified San Antonio child custody lawyers can reduce stress and can provide knowledgeable guidance on the next steps to take.

If you need representation in your child custody case, contact our office in San Antonio, TX at (210) 405-6623 for a consultation.

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