Many divorced parents can attest that one of the most emotional parts of a divorce is often what type of child custody order the court issues. Over the past few decades, child custody has evolved to include a much greater emphasis on shared parenting instead of sole custody with limited visitation for the other non-custodial parent. While the courts do recognize that it is usually in the best interest of the child for both parents to be actively involved in raising that child, there are situations where the court will instead award sole custody to one parent.

Child Custody in Texas

Under Texas family law, child custody is referred to as “conservatorship.” One type of conservator is joint managing conservator. This is when both parents share significant decisions about the child, including healthcare, education, and religion. The court will also include a possession order which states how much parenting time each parent will have with the child.

Another type of conservator is sole managing conservator. This is when the court  grants one parent the primary rights and responsibilities for making those significant decisions concerning the child’s upbringing. Although the non-custodial parent may have input in these decisions, the custodial parent has the final say. In this type of custody situation, the non-custodial parent is referred to as a possessory conservator.

Factors That Can Result in Sole Custody

In order to be named sole managing conservator, a parent usually needs to provide the court evidence that demonstrates the other parent’s inability to care for the child or circumstances that show that awarding the parent joint managing conservator would not be in the child’s best interest. These factors can include:

  • A history of domestic violence or abuse
  • A history of neglect or abandonment
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Unfitness of the parent due to mental illness, criminal activity, or a chronic pattern of irresponsible behavior
  • Significant ongoing conflict between the parents that could cause potential harm to the child
  • The child’s preference if the child is old enough and mature enough to independently share their preference with the court

Contact a Fort Worth, TX Family Law Attorney for Legal Help

If you are facing a child custody battle, make sure you have an aggressive Dallas, TX child custody lawyer advocating for you and protecting your parental rights. Call Clark Law Group at 469-765-3910 to schedule a confidential consultation and find out how our legal team can help.