Parents that are currently facing divorce, or going through a divorce, may have heard a lot of “rumors” online from other parents about child custody in Texas. To separate the facts from these rumors, here are 10 myths about child custody in Texas. We are sharing what the actual truth is when it comes to child custody in Texas.
Child custody in Texas: 10 myths debunked
Here are 10 myths about child custody in Texas that we have found online. Our Texas family law firm is debunking the most popular.
#1: A mother always gets full custody in Texas
Ten years or more ago a court would tend to side with the mother and it was easier to give the mother full custody. However, nowadays this is just not true. Fathers can sometimes get almost split custody or even full custody in some cases. It really depends on the situation and how each parent would like to move forward with custody and co-parenting.
#2: A parent that was having an affair or was continually unfaithful during a marriage can affect that parent’s custody agreement.
A parent’s sexual relationships outside the marriage have no effect on what the court decides with parental custody. However, if the parent is involved in dangerous sexual activities this may affect a court’s decision.
#3: The custodial parent can move away at anytime
This is not true. Unless one parent has given up all rights, the custodial parent can not just move away to another town, state, and especially another country. A child custody agreement will lay out what should happen or how moving should be agreed upon.
#4 A child can choose which parent they would like to live with
Any child that is under the age of 18 can not make a legal decision such as choosing to live with a specific parent. A child may express their feelings to live with a specific parent however, the court will decide what is best for that child.
#5 Joint child custody in Texas is always an equal split
Texas law does favor that both parents have active roles in their children’s lives. A divorced couple can create a custody agreement that almost mirrors split custody. However, for children, it can become difficult for children to consistently go back and forth. A court will decide which parent will have primary custody.
#6 The parent with custodial custody can make all the decisions
Even if one parent has custodial custody it does not mean that they are able to make all the decisions about the family. Parents can have what is called joint conservatorship meaning that both parents equal say in their child’s education, health care, and other important issues. This is where having a healthy co-parenting relationship becomes extremely important.
#7 The custodial parent can deny visitation
No, this is not true. Just because the other parent might do something to make the other parent upset such as late child support. The custodial parent can not withhold visitation. Things such as child support are not linked to visitation.
#8 If you make the other parent look bad you will get full custody
Unfortunately, even though you might be going through a difficult divorce with your ex. Making the other person look bad can actually make you look worse in the eyes of the court. Instead, focus on why you might be the more responsible parent and why you may be in a better position to be the custodial parent.
#9 Substance abuse can automatically affect visitation
Although if substance abuse is proven to have placed the children in immediate danger the court can order emergency supervised visitation. However, it doesn’t automatically affect visitation. A court would have to issue an injection prohibiting any spouse from using any substance. They might also issue rehabilitation with an injection before the parent has any visitation with the children.
#10 You can wave child support if both parties agree
This depends on the court. Child support is for the child, not the parent. Even if the custodial parent doesn’t need the money per se, the court may rule that the child does need monthly child support.
Child Custody in Texas and working with your Texas family law attorney
It’s important that you choose an attorney specializing in family law in Texas who can help to guide you through any additional support or any resources you may need. Getting the support you need will help you to become a better parent as you guide your children through your divorce.