What You Need to Know About Child Custody in Texas

Before you determine terms for child support, you, your spouse, and both attorneys will review child custody. In Texas, we call custody “conservatorship.” It means the right to make decisions about the child; where the child lives, goes to school, religious preferences, and medical treatment options. You will need a Houston child custody attorney to help you decide custody rights following a divorce.

Grandparents have rights, too. Texas recognizes the important role grandparents play in child development. Grandparents have visitation rights, and in some cases, may request custody of the child if:

  • A court-order terminated the parent-child relationship
  • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months
  • The parent abused or neglected the child
  • The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died

Types of Child Custody

“The majority of the research literature has found no relationship between the type of custody and child outcomes,” according to the Canadian Department of Justice. As a result of their studies, they concluded the various child custody options had no negative impact on child development. Types of custody include:

  • Joint – The parents share childcare responsibilities, and agree to child custody conditions. Sometimes parents maintain one residence for the child and alternate parental visits. Together, the parents can set the terms that are best for the child and the family unit. This is, most believe, the best arrangement, where parents agree on schools, religion, and long-term as well as day-to-day child care.
    • Joint Legal Custody – Parents share care and control, but child has one primary residence
    • Joint Physical Custody – Child has two residences and spends at least 35% of the time with the other parent
  • Legal – This is the right to make long-term plans and major decisions for the child.
  • Physical – This is the right to make day-to-day decisions, and the child has one primary residence.
  • Sole – This is “legal” and “physical” custody of the child, and the child has only one residence.
  • Split – When there are two children involved, one parent may obtain custody of one child and the other may obtain custody of the second child. Children’s ages and their preferences contribute to this option. In Texas, children 12 years and older can also consult privately with the judge about what they prefer regarding custody and residence.
  • Temporary – This is exactly as it sounds. Temporary custody is awarded to a parent or another party, based on the best interests of the child, until the court makes a final child custody determination.


Your Houston Child Custody Attorney

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”
– Jane D. Hull

Divorce can be a new beginning for your family, and Diane Reul, Board Certified, Family Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization can help you create a “new and improved” family unit. Your concerns are important and your questions can be answered by an experienced Houston child custody attorney. Call (713) 622-3770 today or send a message.