There are few things in life more sacred than the relationship between a parent and their child. Most people would do anything for their kids. And it’s true, many people make tough sacrifices every day to ensure their children have the best lives possible.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why custody is a source of the most heated arguments and battles in divorce cases. People are passionate about their children and will fight vigorously to retain custody and / or be guaranteed as much time with them as possible.
The Difference Between Sole Custody and Joint Custody
Determining custody (or conservatorship) can be challenging when both parents want the most quality time they can get. In the state of Texas, the preferred path is for parents to agree to joint custody. Joint custody is determined based on the child’s wishes, the parents’ financial statuses and work schedules and the relationships each parent has with the child. Types of joint custody include:
- Joint managing conservatorship: Both parents share the obligation of making all major decisions for the child’s life, including education, healthcare, religion and primary home.
- Joint legal custody: The child only has one primary residence, but both parents have equal say in decisions.
- Shared physical custody: The child shares time at each parent’s home with no primary residence.
Courts can also decide that parents will have a hybrid of joint legal custody and shared physical custody, which is based on various factors. The court’s ultimate goal is to choose a path that best suits the child and their future. But what happens when one parent can’t live up to that expectation?
When Sole Custody is Necessary
Most of the time, Texas courts prefer to give joint custody and let parents work together to raise their children. Unfortunately, there are situations where this isn’t the best solution.
Sometimes one of the parents is verbally abusive, physically violent or has current struggles with drug and alcohol abuse. Other times one of the parents and the child have a strong disdain for each other. And in some cases, one of the parents has no interest in being a part of the child’s life.
When any or all of these situations are present in a marriage, the courts may determine that one parent should have sole custody. In this case, this parent would have complete decision-making authority and the child would live only with them. This is never the desired outcome of a custody case, but unfortunately, it’s necessary from time to time.
Contact Our Custody Attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and determining custody of the children, we can help. The Fort Worth custody attorneys of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C. want what’s best for you and your children and will give guidance to bring what’s best for everyone involved.