Introduction to Child Custody Proceedings in Texas

Navigating child custody proceedings in Texas can be complex, and many parents often find themselves uncertain about their rights and obligations under the law. Any parent involved in or anticipating a child custody case within the Texas family court system must actively seek a clear understanding of the legal framework. This article serves as a valuable resource, shedding light on crucial aspects of Texas child custody proceedings, including key provisions outlined in the Texas Family Code 151.001. Whether you are already in the midst of a custody dispute or preparing for one, the information provided here will help you make informed decisions and protect your parental rights.

Parents Rights

The outcome of every custody decision could impact your children’s welfare and future happiness, and there are many legal concepts and proceedings to learn about. A good starting point is a discussion regarding parental rights. Many of the parents I meet with have a mistaken belief that one of the parents has special requests when there is no court order.

Recently, I had to explain to a mother who wanted to change her child’s name that we would need to involve the father. The mother did not like hearing this and tried to tell me that it was unnecessary because “his name is not on the birth certificate.”

I had to inform the mother that we would still need to involve the father, even though his name was not on the birth certificate, because he still held rights.

Texas Family Code 151.001: Both Parents Have Rights and Obligations

Section 151.001 of the Texas Family Code plays a pivotal role in shaping the legal responsibilities of parents within the state. This provision legally obligates parents to fulfill a range of essential duties to ensure the well-being of their children. These duties encompass not only the basics of providing food, shelter, clothing, and medical care but also extend to the crucial aspect of education.

In essence, this statute underscores the fundamental principle that parents must ensure their children receive a proper and nurturing upbringing. This includes not only addressing their immediate physical needs but also fostering their intellectual and emotional development through access to education. It emphasizes the importance of taking into account both material and non-material aspects of a child’s growth, promoting a holistic approach to parenting. Section 151.001 serves as a cornerstone for family law in Texas, reinforcing the state’s commitment to the welfare and development of its young residents.

How Long Will I Have to Pay Child Support?

Under most circumstances, a parent’s obligation to support their child in Texas ends when the child turns eighteen or has graduated from high school, whichever comes later.

The family code also provides that if child support continues beyond age 18, the child must be going to high school full-time.

Adult Disabled Child

If you have a disabled child, the court may order you to continue providing support well beyond their 18th birthday.

Best Interest of the Child

As a parent, deciding what is in the best interests of your children will be among the most important decisions you will ever make. Some of those decisions will come quickly, but many others will be challenging for both parties. Of course, every child custody case contains a vital emotional component, whether it involves decisions for one child or several children. Contested custody increases the stresses, delays, and costs of court proceedings exponentially.

One of the best ways to prepare for your case is to learn everything you can about Texas child custody laws and proceedings. With this goal in mind, this article and those that follow will help to demystify the custody process and help you build a solid foundation for legal decision-making.

Before getting started, note that the term “child custody” is not used in Texas law. In its place is conservatorship. It is not uncommon to hear even attorneys use the term child custody because of its everyday use and recognition in society.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Custody Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it’s essential to speak with one of our Spring, TX Child CustodyLawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child custody lawyers in spring, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, and surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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