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Texas Child Custody Laws

In Texas, the law refers to child custody as “conservatorship.” Texas child custody laws are in compliance with the Uniform Child Custody Act, which seeks to minimize child custody conflicts that involve more than one state. 

When it comes to custody cases, parents may choose to file a parenting plan (a proposed custody and/or visitation schedule) with the court. If parents do not submit a parenting plan, the court will decide on a custody arrangement for the parties. As with most other states, Texas courts are required to consider the child's own wishes when making a custody determination. In addition, the court also considers a number of other factors, including:

  • Whether joint conservatorship (joint custody) would benefit the child’s physical, psychological, and emotional well-being;
  • Whether each parent will encourage and promote a relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • Whether the parents can communicate effectively to make decisions that promote the child’s best interests;
  • How much each of the parents contributed to the child’s upbringing before the custody case was filed;
  • How close or far each parent’s home is located in relation to the other; and
  • Any other factors the court determines should be considered under the circumstances of the case.

Learn more about Texas child custody laws in the table below. See How Child Custody Decisions are Made for additional information.

Code Section

Fam. 153. 005 et seq.

Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted

1983

Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, Fam. §153.003 Joint Managing Conservator

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, Fam. 153.433

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Texas child custody attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information on Texas’s child custody laws, visit the links provided below to access additional resources. You can also learn more about the topic in general, by browsing FindLaw’s section on child custody which contains information on related issues such as: types of child custody, custody mediation, parenting agreements, visitation rights, visitation schedules, paternity, and grandparents’ rights. Finally, if you find you have more questions or need legal representation, you may find it is in your best interests to retain an attorney specializing in child custody law.

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