When you get divorced in Texas, one of the most important decisions you’ll make if you have kids pertains to your child custody and visitation rights. There are several different child custody and visitation types; you will choose one that suits you and your family, or a judge will choose for you if you and your ex can’t agree.
Types of child custody
- Joint custody: Joint child custody is when both parents share legal and physical custody of the child. In joint legal custody, both parents have a say in decisions about the child, and in joint physical custody, the child lives with both parents equally.
- Sole custody: Sole custody is when one parent has legal and physical custody of the child. This means the child lives with one parent, and the other parent has visitation rights.
- Split custody: This is a custody arrangement that involves parents with multiple children. Each parent can decide which child to stay with permanently, or the kids can rotate living with each parent for equal amounts of time. For instance, in a family of four children, one parent can get sole child custody of two kids while the other parent gets the other two kids.
Types of visitation
- Unsupervised visitation: Texas courts awards this type of visitation if the non-custodial parent has no history of abuse or neglect. It involves visiting your child without a chaperone.
- Supervised visitation: This is when a chaperone accompanies the child during their visit with the non-custodial parent. The court awards it if you have a history of neglect, abuse or criminal offenses.
- Visitation by proxy: Visitation by proxy is when the non-custodial parent cannot physically be there to spend time with their child, but they still get a chance to communicate with them. You can do this through video chats, phone calls, letters and packages.
The best type of custody and visitation arrangement for you depends on your individual situation. The law allows you to make these decisions independently, but if you can’t agree, you may need to go to court to have the judge decide for you.