Disputes over child custody can take at least two forms. There are Texas parents who are contesting physical custody, but legal custody can also be contested though, and the fight over that can be the more important one in many cases. A parent with sole legal custody over a child is the only one authorized to make major decisions on the child's behalf. The decisions of this type include religious, healthcare and education choices.
It is possible for the legal custody situation to differ from physical custody in the same case. Indeed, such a setup is somewhat common. Co-parents often share legal custody even if they do not share physical custody. It should be noted that sole legal custody brings with it advantages and disadvantages.
As an example of an advantage, it can be easier for one parent to make major decisions unilaterally than for a discussion or compromise to be necessary for all major decisions. It may also lend greater consistency for the child. In circumstances where one parent is entirely absent, sole legal custody may be a necessity. Among the disadvantages of sole legal custody is that sometimes it can be unclear what constitutes a major decision, however.
Parents who have questions about either type of custody may want to speak with a lawyer with experience in family law, who may be able to help by examining the facts of the situation and arguing in favor of sole or shared custody, depending on the parent's wishes. A lawyer might negotiate the terms of a custody agreement or advocate on behalf of the client during family court proceedings.