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Don't let your child slip away: Understanding custody in Texas

As a parent, you naturally want to be as close to your children as possible. Whether it’s being there for birthday parties, heading out to watch the San Antonio Spurs play, or simply watching a movie at home, every day is an opportunity to enjoy time with your children. Unfortunately, separation and divorce can place a heavy strain on the physical and emotional connection between you and your child. Navigating custody disputes can also create bitterness between you and your ex.

A father in Utah recently discovered just how complex a custody battle can become when he learned that his son’s biological mother had relinquished their son for adoption without the father’s consent or knowledge. The father moved to Texas to work a temporary job while the mother was pregnant, but their relationship with fell apart when he returned to Utah. Contact between the two diminished, and the man later learned not only that his son had been born but that he had already been placed for adoption.

While this story predominantly took place in Utah, it still serves as an example of the importance of understanding the laws and legal process involved with child custody. In Texas, a child can be placed into one of two types of conservatorships, including joint managing custody and sole managing custody. Courts in Texas consider a variety of factors related to the parents when making these decisions. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Financial standing
  • Physical capacity
  • Criminal history
  • Record of abuse of domestic violence
  • Relationship to a child

Understanding the factors that weigh into a custody decision can help you act in the best interests of your child. It can also help you find a course of action that doesn’t strongly compromise the desires of the other parent. Seeking the aid of an attorney is a suitable first step toward navigating the complexities of divorce and child custody.

Source: NBC News, “Dad files $130M lawsuit after son in Utah is given up for adoption,” Erik Ortiz, Dec. 31, 2013

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