Texas divorce law does not use the term, “custody.” Instead, the arrangements for caring for children of divorcing parents are broken into three categories:

  • Conservatorship: How decisions affecting the children will be made
  • Periods of Possession: The schedule of time a child will spend with each parent
  • Child Support: How the child’s financial needs will be met

Texas divorce law presumes that parents should be named as “joint managing conservators,” which means that parents jointly share the right to make some decisions about their children, and neither parent can make these decisions without the agreement of the other parent.

Texas has Child Support Guidelines that set an amount that is presumed to be paid by one parent to the other and a Standard Possession Order that sets out a schedule for visitation that is presumed to be in the best interest of children. Parents can agree to arrangements for their children that differ from the statutory guidelines. Read more about Developing a Parenting Plan.

While Texas law does provide standards and guidelines, these are arbitrary standards that fit perfectly for almost no one. Divorcing couples in Texas are free to make their own agreements that fit their family. Our Negotiated Divorce streamlined process will help you and your spouse make agreements about how to care for your children after divorce.

NEXT: Learn more about Child Support Options.

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