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3 common myths about Texas child custody laws

The divorce procedure can be taxing at the best of times. However, when children are involved, stress levels may be heightened further. 

Parents often worry that the court is going to be biased in their rulings, leading to unfavorable outcomes. As a result, it is important to distinguish between the misconceptions and realities of divorce cases in Texas. Outlined below are three of the most widely circulated myths relating to divorce and children:

The mother will always be granted sole physical possession of the child

Traditionally, the courts may have been swayed more towards granting custody to the mother. However, the law in Texas today is very much concerned with the best interests of the child, and modern courts generally recognize that a child does best when they have both parents in their lives. The gender of each parent does not carry any weight in a custody decision.

The child can choose which parent to live with

A further misconception that is commonly circulated is that when the child hits twelve years of age, they are permitted to choose which parent gets actual possession of the child. While it is true that the law permits children to be heard at twelve years old, they do not have the final say. The views of the child are just one of many factors that the judge will consider before forming an opinion. 

The parent in physical possession is entitled to make all the rules

Joint legal conservatorship is entirely distinct from physical custody. A parent may have primary physical custody, but this does not entitle them to make important decisions concerning the well-being of a child without consulting the other parent. Parents with joint conservatorship (“legal custody”) have an equal say in things such as health care and the education of their child 

Being familiar with Texas child custody law can help to maintain your parent-child relationship. If you are involved in a divorce, it is important to know what legal protections are open to you as a parent.