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Child Custody Law In Texas

A child custody order, which can be in a Final Decree of Divorce or a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, can dictate when you spend time with your children (defined as possession and access). Since custody arrangements cannot generally be modified without showing a significant and material change in circumstances, it is imperative to get the arrangements right the first time.

The Dallas custody lawyers at Balekian Hayes, PLLC can help you work out a suitable visitation schedule, modify an existing schedule, and enforce what is in the best interest of your child. Our family lawyers have all the necessary knowledge and experience to argue your case in court, or help you settle a matter with your spouse through mediation.

The most common issues pertaining to child visitation include:

  • Disagreement over a visitation schedule that is in the best interest of the child
  • Prohibition of visitation by a custodial parent
  • Violation of visitation by a noncustodial parent

Possession of your child means you can see the child in person and have the child in your care. Access means that you can interact with your child by some means.

In the state of Texas, it is presumed to be in the best interest of the child that the parents are named joint managing conservators. This does not dictate how much time you spend with the child but what are your rights and responsibilities as it pertains to your children. Usually, but not always, one parent has the right to designate the primary residence of the children, oftentimes referred to as the “primary parent.”

Unless limited by a court, the rights and duties of a parent at all times are as follows:

  • To receive information from any other conservator of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child
  • To confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child
  • Access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child
  • To consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child
  • Consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities
  • Attend school activities, including school lunches, performances, and field trips
  • Be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency
  • Consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child;  and
  • Manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.

Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as managing conservator of a child has the following rights and duties

The Right To:

  • Designate the primary residence of the child
  • Consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures
  • Consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment
  • Receive and give receipt for periodic payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse these funds for the benefit of the child
  • Represent the child in legal action and make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child
  • Consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States
  • Make decisions concerning the child’s education
  • The services and earnings of the child
  • Except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government
  • Apply for a passport for the child;
  • Renew the child’s passport; and
  • Maintain possession of the child’s passport.

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