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If you are a resident of Texas, and you and your spouse are planning to divorce, it's best to find out all you can about joint custody laws. These guidelines will help you and your soon-to-be ex spouse to share custody of the child in a way that serves in her best interest.
Joint Legal Custody
- In the state of Texas, parents can be granted joint legal custody of children, which means that both the mother and father are legally responsible for the upbringing of the child. Parents have equal responsibility when it comes to determining where the child will attend school, what types of medical treatments the child will receive, and the types of community or extracurricular activities the child can be involved in. While both parents reserve the same rights in terms of custody, the child primarily lives with one parent in a joint legal custody arrangement; the remaining parent receives visitation with the child.
Shared Physical Custody
- Parents who are Texas residents and live in close proximity to each other may also want to consider shared physical custody. This is when the child spends the majority if his time in the home of one parent, but lives with the remaining parent at least 35 percent of the time. Both parents still reserve the right to make major decisions concerning the child's health, education, and well-being in a shared physical custody arrangement.
Combination Joint Custody
- Depending on the living arrangements of the parents, the best interest of the child, and the discretion of the Texas courts, a combination of shared physical custody and joint legal custody may be awarded to the parents. Many parents who choose a combination joint custody arrangement keep the child at one residence, but rotate the days they are at the residence to care for the child. The courts look to ensure that the two parents can get along favorably when making decisions regarding the child; if the mother and father are constantly disagreeing on issues such as which religion to raise the child in, or which school to send the child to, Texas legislature may rule that one parent have sole custody, while the other parent reserves visitation rights.