If you reside in Texas and are undergoing a divorce in which children are involved, it is crucial that you understand child custody laws. Furthermore, it is always smart to review custody laws if you or your former spouse have undergone a significant life change after having been apart for an extended time. For example, this is relevant if one of you intends to move, or someone has fallen on tough times financially. It is often best to speak with an attorney.
Filing for Child Custody
Parents living in Texas with a child may present a custody case as long as both have resided within the state for six months before the custody case. You may also file if the parents have any connection with Texas besides living there, including a job or education.
You should provide the court with the following information:
- Child’s address
- Where the child has lived for the past five years
- Names and address of individuals the child has lived with, along with names and addresses of anyone claiming physical or legal custody over the child
Filing the correct paperwork may be confusing for first-time child custody cases. It is always best to consult an experienced child custody attorney in Texas.
In Texas, a child’s guardian is referred to as a conservator instead of a “custodian.” The court will declare one parent sole managing conservator of a child, or both parents as joint managing conservators in a custody case. A range of factors help the court determine whether one or both parents should serve as a conservator. These factors include the best interests of the child, any history of domestic violence by either parent, and the child’s preference if they are older than 12.