The Standard Possession Order and Child Support: A Texas Divorce Overview Continued

The Standard Possession Order and Child Support: A Texas Divorce Overview Continued

When it comes to divorce and child custody, two things often weigh heavily on our minds: time and money. These concerns become even more pronounced when we consider the well-being of our families. In the state of Texas, the standard order of possession plays a crucial role in determining how much time and possibly how much money a parent gets to spend with their children.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of the standard order of possession in Texas, shedding light on its legal process, custody arrangements, mediation and negotiation, factors influencing custody and support, parenting plans, enforcement and modifications, alternative dispute resolution, impact on children, non-parental custody, and international aspects.

Before we dive into the details of the standard order of possession, it is important to understand the legal process of divorce. Filing for divorce, hiring attorneys, considering mediation, or going to court are all significant steps in this process. Filing for divorce initiates the legal proceedings, and from there, attorneys play a vital role in guiding their clients through the complexities of divorce. Mediation offers a chance for couples to resolve their differences amicably, while going to court becomes necessary when negotiations fail and a judge needs to make decisions on custody and support.

Different Custody Arrangements

In Texas, the standard order of possession is just one of many custody arrangements available to parents. Legal custody refers to the right to make important legal decisions on behalf of the child, and physical custody determines where the child resides primarily.

Custody Arrangements


Sole Custody

One parent has full legal and physical custody of the child. They make all decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and have the child’s primary residence. The noncustodial parent may have visitation rights.

Joint Custody

Both parents share legal and physical custody of the child. They collaborate in making major decisions and divide the child’s time between their homes. It promotes ongoing involvement of both parents in the child’s life.

Legal Custody

A parent has the authority to make legal decisions on behalf of the child, such as education, healthcare, and religious matters. It may be sole or joint legal custody depending on the arrangement.

Physical Custody

Refers to the child’s primary residence. The parent with physical custody has the child living with them for the majority of the time, while the noncustodial parent may have scheduled visitation rights.

Mediation and Negotiation

While the standard order of possession provides a framework for parenting time, it is often possible to negotiate and modify this arrangement. Mediation can play a significant role in this process, allowing parents to sit down with a neutral third party and work out a custody schedule that suits the best interests of their child. Effective communication and negotiation are crucial during this phase, as they enable parents to find common ground and make compromises that benefit everyone involved.

Factors Influencing Custody and Support

The Standard Possession Order and Child Support: A Texas Divorce Overview Continued

When courts make decisions about custody and child support, they take various factors into account. The best interests of the child are paramount and may include considerations such as the child’s emotional well-being, parental income and financial resources, parenting abilities, and the child’s preferences, depending on their age and maturity. Understanding these factors can help parents present their case effectively and work towards a custody arrangement that serves the child’s best interests.

Development of Parenting Plans

Parenting plans are comprehensive documents that outline the specific arrangements for child custody, visitation, decision-making, and other parental responsibilities. While the standard order of possession provides a basic framework, developing a detailed parenting plan can help parents address specific needs and create a more tailored arrangement. Parenting plans can cover various aspects, such as holidays, vacations, transportation, and communication between parents.

Enforcement and Modifications

Once a possession order or child support arrangement is in place, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms for enforcement and potential modifications. Courts have the authority to enforce possession orders and child support payments, ensuring compliance with the agreed-upon terms. However, life circumstances may change, and modifications may become necessary.

Changes in employment, relocations, or the child’s evolving needs may warrant adjustments to the possession schedule or child support amount. It is essential to follow the legal process to seek modifications through the court system.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

While going to court is sometimes unavoidable, alternative dispute resolution methods offer a way for couples to resolve their differences outside of court. Collaborative divorce and arbitration are two popular methods that allow couples to work with professionals to reach agreements on custody and support. These alternative approaches can be less adversarial, more cost-effective, and provide greater flexibility for parents to customize their arrangements.

Impact on Children

Divorce can have significant emotional, psychological, and developmental effects on children. It is crucial for parents to be aware of these potential impacts and take proactive measures to minimize any negative consequences. Co-parenting strategies, open and honest communication, and maintaining a supportive environment can help children navigate the challenges of divorce more effectively. Putting the child’s well-being at the forefront and prioritizing their needs can foster a healthier post-divorce family dynamic.

Non-Parental Custody

While this article primarily focuses on parental custody arrangements, it is important to acknowledge situations where non-parental relatives, such as grandparents, seek custody or visitation rights. Texas law recognizes the importance of maintaining relationships between children and their extended family members. Non-parental custody cases involve their unique legal considerations and requirements, often requiring a thorough understanding of the specific laws and regulations that govern such situations.

International Aspects

The Standard Possession Order and Child Support: A Texas Divorce Overview Continued

Divorce involving international aspects introduces additional complexities. Matters such as child abduction, jurisdictional conflicts, and the enforcement of foreign court orders require special attention. International family law issues can be intricate, and it is crucial to seek legal counsel with expertise in this area to navigate the complexities and ensure the best interests of the child are protected.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the broader legal process and various custody arrangements is crucial. Mediation and negotiation’s significance is key, along with factors influencing custody and support decisions. Developing parenting plans, and understanding enforcement and modifications, are essential. Alternative dispute resolution methods and their impact on children are important. Consider non-parental custody and international aspects carefully.

Exploring these aspects helps parents understand their rights and responsibilities. This knowledge allows for informed decisions, prioritizing children’s best interests during divorce.


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  5. Possession and Access schedules for parents who live more than 100 miles apart
  6. Handling changing work schedules while negotiating a possession order in Texas
  7. Unique goals for your child’s possession schedule? Read this blog to learn how to achieve those goals
  8. Possession Orders explained for Texas family law cases
  9. Can a possession order be affected by the mental health problems of a parent?
  10. Family Law Cases in Texas: Visitation, Possession and Access
  11. Understanding Child Visitation and Standard Possession Orders in Texas: A Detailed Guide by the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

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