One of the most stressful aspects of going through a child custody case is the complexity of the laws involved. People are often surprised by Texas law, much of which is different than other states. Even the terminology is different. Here are 5 things that people are frequently unaware of when it comes to Texas child custody:
1. Child Custody Does Not Exist
Under Texas law, the concept that other states refer to as child custody is actually called conservatorship. A child’s custodian is called a conservator. While most people use terms like child custody anyway, it is important to know the legal terminology.
2. Your Needs Are Secondary
Texas law says that the best interest of the child should be the number one priority. What outcome is truly best for the child? Most agree that it is preferred that the child spend time with both parents, barring extenuating circumstances. Factors that will be considered will include the child’s age, the amount of time each parent currently spends with the child and more. The needs of the parents will not likely be a driving factor.
3. Texas Allows Jury Trials In Child Custody Cases
Texas is the only state in the country that allows parents to resolve child custody disputes in a jury trial. However, few parents actually opt to do so, as it can be stressful for all involved, and most would rather not put the fate of their children into the hands of 12 random strangers. It tends to be more expensive as well.
4. Child Custody, Child Support And Property Division Are Linked
When going through a divorce, it is important to understand that the issues cannot be separated. They are all linked, and the outcome of one will impact the outcome of another. For example, the question of who gets to keep the family home will be tied to child custody arrangements. Furthermore, child custody arrangements will be tied to child support payments.
5. Modifications Can Be Requested Soon After Orders Are Issued
Child custody orders can be requested changed even within a year of them being issued. While parents should be aware that these orders are not set in stone and can be modified, they should also work toward arrangements that will not require changing. A change will require proof that it is in the child’s best interest.
A Lawyer Can Help
One of the greatest benefits of having an experienced lawyer on your side during a child custody case is the peace of mind that you will be educated about all facets of the law as it applies to you. At Weinman & Associates, we take great pride in keeping you informed as your case progresses.