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Texas Child Custody FAQ

San Antonio, Texas Child Custody FAQs

As we guide San Antonio families through determining the optimal custody arrangement that serves the kids’ best interests, we frequently encounter broad questions – from fundamental inquiries to more intricate concerns. Some of the questions that commonly arise include:

How do I file for child custody in Texas?

To obtain a court order for child custody in Texas, you must file a lawsuit either as part of a divorce case or in a dedicated Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). It involves filing the appropriate legal paperwork with the district court in the child’s county.

What is the difference between joint and sole custody in Texas?

Texas legally refers to child custody as “conservatorship.” Joint managing conservatorship means both parents share rights and duties for raising the child. Sole managing conservatorship grants one parent exclusive authority to decide for the child.

While joint conservatorship is presumed to be in a child’s best interests, a sole conservatorship can be awarded if a parent has engaged in family violence, substance abuse or other behavior detrimental to the child’s welfare.

What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

Known as “primary residency,” physical custody refers to where the child lives most of the time. Even in joint managing conservatorships, the child usually lives primarily with one parent.

Legal custody, or “conservatorship rights,” refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as education, medical care and religious upbringing. Again, physical custody can be awarded to one parent while both parents share legal custody.

How is child custody determined by Texas courts?

Texas courts make custody determinations based on the following:

  • The child’s best interests
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Histories of domestic violence or substance abuse
  • Willingness to co-parent
  • Stability of each home environment

The Texas court’s primary legal goal is to promote the child’s welfare and help ensure a safe, stable and nurturing environment.

Other Legal Questions? Call Us.

Contact Reuter Law Group, PC, through 210-761-6184 or via email for a free legal consultation to discuss your family’s unique legal situation with our legal team in San Antonio.