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Parental Rights and Responsibilities


Parents have several rights and responsibilities in Texas and throughout the country. Our San Antonio family lawyer explains what these are.

Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience that brings many rights and responsibilities with it. In Texas, these rights and responsibilities are outlined in state law and they include the right to child custody, visitation, decision-making authority, and more. While motherhood is rarely questioned in family law cases, the same cannot be said for paternity. When two people are not married and have a child together, the father will have to establish paternity before exercising their rights or being held responsible for the child.

Parental Rights in San Antonio

Parents have many rights in San Antonio. They are as follows:

  • Physical custody: Physical custody refers to where a child lives and which parent they live with. The courts typically try to award joint custody to each parent but sometimes sole custody, known as sole managing conservatorship in Texas, is awarded.
  • The right to visitation: When one parent has primary physical custody of a child, the other parent is usually given the right to visitation.
  • Legal custody: Legal custody refers to the parent who has the authority to make decisions for the child. Like physical custody, the courts can award either joint legal custody or sole legal custody.
  • Right to enter into contracts: Parents have a right to enter into contracts for minor children, such as signing them up for music lessons or a sports team.
  • Right to pass on property: Parents have a right to pass property such as inheritances and gifts to their child.

Parental Responsibilities in San Antonio

Just as parents have many rights in San Antonio, they also have many responsibilities. These are as follows:

  • Duty to inform: Parents should always inform each other, or other caregivers, of any information concerning the health, welfare, and education of the child.
  • Child support: When one parent spends more time with the child than the other, the non-custodial parent is typically required to pay child support. All parents have a responsibility to financially support their minor children.
  • Duty of care: All parents have a duty to care, protect, and reasonably discipline their children.
  • Duty to provide: Parents are responsible for ensuring their children have the necessary food, clothing, shelter, and medical and dental care.

When parents fail to meet their responsibilities, legal action may be taken. In the most extreme cases, a parent who fails to meet their responsibilities may also lose their parental rights.

Our Family Lawyers in San Antonio Can Help With Your Case

Whether you have a child custody or child support issue, our San Antonio family lawyers at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, can help. We will negotiate aggressively with the other side and if necessary, take your case to court so you can obtain the favorable outcome you need. Call us now at (210) 222-9132 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.