When issues arise within a family that lead to the separation of both parents, it can place any child in a tough position. This will often lead to a child custody case. A common misconception regarding child custody is that there is only one outcome with the child being sent to live within one parent or the other. However, many types of child custody orders may come out of a case.
The term “physical custody” means that a parent has the right to have their child live with them. If the child tends to spend an equal amount of time with both parents, the state will allow joint physical custody. In every case, the ruling will be made in the child’s best interest, so joint physical custody is only possible when the child is able to maintain a normal daily routine. Negotiations might become intense between both parents, so it is important to know your rights as a parent.
Another type of child custody is legal custody. This means that a parent has a say in the child’s upbringing. This can include what religion they practice, medical assistance and their type of schooling. Many states will give this right to both parents. Note that over time, the child custody order might be altered depending on the changing needs of the child.
Sometimes, couples will separate because one parent’s lifestyle isn’t safe for both the other parent and the child. This could involve having a drug or alcohol addiction or a history of being abusive. Courts in Texas will often order sole custody of the child if they deem the other parent unfit.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may want to seek the services of an attorney who handles child custody cases. A family law attorney may help you understand your options and work to protect your rights as a parent.