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Types of child custody

When parents in Texas are divorcing, their rights will vary when it comes to child custody. Depending on the roles the parents play in the children’s lives, a judge may deem that joint custody, legal custody, or a combination of physical custody arrangements are suitable for the children.

Physical custody

Physical child custody indicates which parent the child will live with. Joint custody is possible in some situations if the parents agree that the child will spend significant time in one parent’s home before spending some time in the other parent’s home. In many cases, the courts will only award the parents joint custody if they live fairly close to each other.

If the parents don’t live in the same city, one parent may receive sole physical custody while the other has visitation rights. The visitation schedule will be based on the schedules of both parents and the needs of the children.

Legal custody

If a parent receives legal custody of a child, this parent is authorized to make decisions pertaining to the child’s upbringing, including where they will attend school and how they will receive medical care. The parent with legal custody also determines the child’s religious practices and which social activities they will participate in. In many instances, joint legal custody is awarded to both parents so that they can work together to make decisions that will benefit their children.

If one parent overrides the legal authority of the other parent to make decisions for the child, the parent whose rights were violated may be able to take the other parent to court depending on their agreed-upon parenting plan and custody documents.