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Joint Custody

Joint Child Custody, Shared Custody in Houston

Houston, Texas lawyer Robert Reid McInvale can explain your rights when it comes to joint custody situations and offer legal advice for problems with your joint custody arrangement.

According to Statute 153.131 of Texas child custody law, unless “the court finds that the appointment of the parent or parents would not be in the best interests of the child because the appointment would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development, a parent shall be appointed sole managing conservator or both parents shall be appointed as joint managing conservators of the child. It is a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of the parents of a child as joint managing conservators is in the best interest of the child.”

In plain English, Texas law favors a parent being awarded custody of a child over anyone else, and additionally favors joint custody of the child being awarded to both parents over sole custody by one or the other parent.

What exactly constitutes joint custody? It actually refers to one of three types:

  • Joint legal custody
  • Shared physical custody
  • A combination of joint legal and physical custody

Joint Legal Custody

Joint legal custody describes a situation in which the parents share in decision-making with regard to the upbringing of their child, but the child has only one primary residence. Issues of religion, discipline, education, and medical treatment must be worked out between parents as issues arise. Depending on the verbiage of the court order regarding joint legal custody, one or the other parent may have final say when there is a disagreement over any of these issues, or the court may be required to step in and make final determinations if each parent has equal say and an agreement cannot be reached either through discussion or with the aid of mediation.

Shared Physical Custody

In this situation, the child has two legal residences, resulting in him or her spending at least 35% of the time with either the mother or father. Some issues that may arise from shared physical custody arrangements involve one parent moving out of the area or the remarriage of a parent to someone the other parent is not comfortable having around their child even part of the time. A return to court may be necessary in order to modify the original agreement in these or similar situations.

Combination Joint Physical and Legal Custody

It is possible for parents to work with their Houston joint custody attorneys to formulate a unique shared custody agreement that involves any combination of shared physical and joint legal custody. Consult a lawyer for examples of how this might work best for your particular custody situation.

Remember, the court is primarily interested in how this or any other joint custody arrangement will affect your child, not in how convenient or satisfying it is for you or your ex-spouse. Consult the Houston law office of Robert Reid McInvale for advice and advocacy when trying to reach any sort of joint custody arrangement in Texas.

Experienced Legal Representation in the Greater Houston area

Help with your divorce, child custody, or other family law issue is only a call away. Contact Robert Reid McInvale toll-free at , or complete our online contact form.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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