Texas parents who do not have custody of their kids may still have a variety of access rights. Even parents who have been completely denied possession could have some visitation access to their children, whether supervised or unsupervised.
Texas residents and others can establish paternity in two different ways. First, they can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by filling out a form at the hospital when the baby is born or at any point before the child turns 18. It may also be possible to establish paternity through genetic testing if there is doubt about who the child's father is. Genetic testing will involve the mother and the child in addition to the alleged father.
Joint legal custody gives both divorced parents the right to be in charge of any major decisions about a child's life such as schools, medical care and religious training. Some Texas parents may share legal custody even if only one parent has physical custody and the other parent has visitation rights. This is an arrangement that has both advantages and disadvantages.
When the courts in Texas stipulate that children must spend the majority of their time with one parent, that person is referred to the custodial parent. The noncustodial parent may have an integral role in raising the child as well and work collaboratively with his or her ex, but the custodial parent still has the most responsibility, according to the law.
Parents in Texas can create a number of different arrangements for child custody and visitation depending on their schedules. While a traditional arrangement in which the noncustodial parent has the child every other weekend might work for situations in which parents work regular 9-to-5 jobs Monday through Friday, this is not the case for every parent.
The Texas-born musician Usher has had a number of legal problems both because of sexual battery charges filed by three people against him who claim he gave them herpes and in relation to a child custody agreement with his ex-wife. She and Usher divorced in 2009 and have a 9-year-old and a 10-year-old.
Many people in Texas might assume that if a parent leaves an abusive relationship, that person and his or her child will be protected from further contact with the abuser. However, according to the American Psychological Association, since family courts are focused on the importance of the child having contact with both parents, they may dismiss abuse reports. Furthermore, in 2012, the American Judges Association released a report that revealed that in about 70 percent of custody cases that were challenged, the abusive parents successfully convinced a court that the victims were unfit or should not have sole custody.
Parents in Texas who are getting a divorce might wonder about the different arrangements for child custody and visitation. Although they are often lumped together, child custody and visitation are not the exact same thing. Child custody refers to who the child lives with while visitation refers to a parent's right to spend time with but not live with the child.
If Texas divorced parents interfere with the access of their former spouse to their child in a way that violates their custody agreement, this is known as custodial interference. It is illegal and may be punishable by jail time.
When Texas fathers get a divorce, they might want physical custody of their children. Traditionally, courts have assumed that mothers would be the best parent for the children, and fathers seeking custody may feel they have a disadvantage. However, fathers might increase their likelihood of getting it by taking a few steps.