Texas state law refers to shared custody as joint conservatorship. It is a rebuttable presumption under Texas Family Code § 153.131 that the appointment of the parents of a child as joint managing conservators is in the best interest of the child or children. This means that a court will assume, at the outset, that the parents will raise a child jointly.
Texas certainly favors joint parenting agreements, but parents must still satisfy certain requirements in order to be appointed joint managing conservators. Joint custody is often less confrontational than proceedings that involve sole custody. Parents may still disagree in some areas regarding the crafting of a parenting plan.
Lawyer for Shared Custody in Houston, TX
If you are trying to negotiate a shared custody agreement, you will want to have legal representation. [firm] assists clients with child custody issues in Houston and surrounding areas of Fort Bend County and Harris County.
Michael Sydow is a divorce attorney in Houston who is an experienced trial attorney and is a member of both the Houston Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call [phone] to schedule a free initial consultation.
Harris County Shared Custody Information Center
Any parent appointed as a conservator of a child has at all times the following rights under Texas Family Code § 153.073:
- to receive information from any other conservator of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;
- to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before deciding the health, education, and welfare of the child;
- of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child;
- to consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child;
- to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities;
- to attend school activities;
- to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency;
- to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child; and
- to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.
Texas Family Code § 153.005 provides that the court can appoint joint managing conservators in any suit, except as provided by Texas Family Code § 153.004 (relating to the history of domestic violence or sexual abuse).
Under Texas Family Code § 153.133, the court can render an order appointing the parents as joint managing conservators only when a written agreed parenting plan is filed with the court and the parenting plan:
- designates the conservator who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child and establishes, until modified by further order, the geographic area within which the conservator shall maintain the child’s primary residence; or specifies that the conservator may designate the child’s primary residence without regard to geographic location;
- specifies the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child’s physical care, support, and education;
- includes provisions to minimize disruption of the child’s education, daily routine, and association with friends;
- allocates between the parents, independently, jointly, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a parent provided by Chapter 151;
- is voluntarily and knowingly made by each parent and has not been repudiated by either parent at the time the order is rendered; and
- is in the best interest of the child.
When a written agreed parenting plan is not filed with the court, Texas Family Code § 153.134(a) establishes that the court may render an order appointing the parents joint managing conservators only if the appointment is in the best interest of the child, considering the following factors:
- whether the physical, psychological, or emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from the appointment of joint managing conservators;
- the ability of the parents to give priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest;
- whether each parent can encourage and accept a positive relationship between the child and the other parent;
- whether both parents participated in child rearing before the filing of the suit;
- the geographical proximity of the parents’ residences;
- if the child is 12 years of age or older, the child’s preference, if any, regarding the person to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child; and
- any other relevant factor.
Under Texas Family Code § 153.134(a), the court must do all of the following in rendering an order appointing joint managing conservators:
- designate the conservator who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child and establish, until modified by further order, a geographic area within which the conservator shall maintain the child’s primary residence; or specify that the conservator may determine the child’s primary residence without regard to geographic location;
- specify the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child’s physical care, support, and education;
- include provisions to minimize disruption of the child’s education, daily routine, and association with friends;
- allocate between the parents, independently, jointly, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a parent as provided by Chapter 151; and
- if feasible, recommend that the parties use an alternative dispute resolution method before requesting enforcement or modification of the terms and conditions of the joint conservatorship through litigation, except in an emergency.
Texas Access — The Access and Visitation hotline is a project of the Texas Attorney General’s Family Initiatives Division and the Texas Supreme Court, and Texas Access is the hotline’s website. You can use this website to find forms, a glossary, and various printed materials. The website also has a section dedicated to frequently asked questions.
Co-Parenting Guide | Texas Attorney General — View the full text of a Texas Attorney General guide that discusses ways in which parents can take care of their children after filing for divorce. The guide covers what co-parenting is, communicating with the other parent, and conflicts with the other parent. You can also learn more about the basic elements of a parenting plan and find a sample parenting plan.
Find a Child Custody Attorney in Houston, TX
Are you trying to work out a shared custody agreement in Southeast Texas? You will want to contact [firm] for help accomplishing all of your immediate and long-term goals.
Houston divorce lawyer Michael Sydow assists individuals in communities all over Harris County and Fort Bend County.
Call [phone] or fill out an online contact form to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.