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Types of Child Custody & Factors a Judge Will Consider


Child custody, known as conservatorship under Texas law, refers to a parent’s legal responsibilities and rights over the care, upbringing, and control of their child. Custody laws help ensure that children always have a healthy, safe, and stable environment. These laws also encourage parents to figure out child custody agreements without taking their issues in front of a judge. Otherwise, judges will make decisions based on the child’s best interests.

What Exactly is Managing Conservatorship?

Commonly known as legal custody, this refers to the parent’s role in deciding crucial decisions about their child’s life, including the health, educational, religious, or spiritual, and cultural needs of the child. Judges usually presume that joint managing conservatorship is best for the child unless one of the parents proves otherwise.

If the judge believes that joint legal custody is not in the best interest of your child, they will decide which parent gets to be the sole managing conservator. This typically applies in cases involving a history of child abuse or domestic violence or where the ability of one parent to make sound decisions has been compromised by untreated mental health issues or drug or alcohol abuse.

What Exactly is Possessory Conservatorship?

Also known as physical custody, this refers to where a child will live and when a parent can have access to or visit their child. If you and your co-parent cannot agree on a possessory conservatorship arrangement, the judge will refer to the state’s standard possession order (SPO), which details the time each parent can spend with their child. However, judges can modify the terms in the SPO if they feel they are not appropriate to the family’s specific situation.

For instance, the judge can order that a parent with alcohol abuse issues can only see their child when they are sober. If the judge feels that the child can’t be left alone with a parent, they can order that a third party must always be present during visitation.

Factors Judges Consider When Making Child Custody Decisions

To ensure the best interests of the child, judges usually consider the following factors when making custody decisions in Texas:

  • The relationship of the child with each parent
  • The ability of each parent to meet the needs of the child
  • The willingness of each parent to support and nurture each other’s relationship with the child
  • The age of the child and their need for stability and continuity
  • Whether there’s a history of child neglect or abuse
  • The living situation of each parent
  • The distance between the parents’ residences
  • The wishes of the child, if applicable

Seek Legal Advice From a Seasoned Texas Child Custody Attorney Now

Child custody battles are among the most stressful and upsetting experiences parents can endure. But if your ex is hellbent on taking your child away from you or if they are abusive or violent to your child, fighting for custody in court is your only option. No matter your situation, you can count on the Texas child custody attorneys at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC for legal guidance.

Find out how we can fight for you and your child’s rights by arranging a case review with our Texas child custody attorney. Please reach us online or call 210-222-9132 for more details.