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Explaining The Different Forms Of Child Custody

If you are ending your marriage, you may be concerned about how much time you will get to spend with your children post-divorce. All good parents want to maximize their time with their kids. That’s where our dedicated child custody attorneys come in.

They could explain the different forms of child custody in Missouri City, which are, legal, physical, joint and sole. Our team could also discuss what rights and responsibilities come with each form of child custody and any combination thereof.

Obtaining Legal And/Or Physical Custody In Missouri City

A parent with legal custody of their child is responsible for making decisions about the child’s medical and educational needs. On the other hand, physical custody is how much time a child spends with one parent or the other.

Parents with joint physical custody and sole legal custody would share equal time with their child while one parent makes all the decisions. Alternatively, the child would reside with one parent primarily while decisions are made by both parents in a sole physical custody and joint legal custody situation.

Otherwise, parents may share joint physical and legal custody. Parents with joint custody share access to their child and must work together to make important decisions for their child, but parents cannot always agree on what is best. A well-versed lawyer could explain the factors that go into determining which form of child custody is best suited to a specific family.


The primary factor that’s going to determine whether someone can be awarded any form of custody is whether they are able to provide for a child’s basic necessities, such as transportation, housing, food, etc.

Emotional Availability

Next, the court will examine whether a parent can offer the emotional support their child needs and whether they are emotionally stable. It is the parent’s responsibility to help stabilize their child to make them feel safe and secure.

Day-To-Day Management

Finally, a parent’s ability to manage their child’s day-to-day needs will be evaluated. Examples include regularly advocating for the child at school, taking the child to the doctor, etc.

A parent who meets the above criteria has a better chance of obtaining a more favorable custody schedule.

Setting A Visitation Schedule With Joint Custody

Local courts tend to favor an evenly split visitation schedule between parents, but that form of custody doesn’t work for every family.

Regardless of which form of custody parents are awarded, the custody order will set a schedule for when the child sees each parent. Some families opt for alternating weeks or mid-week switching if the parents live close to each other. However, if they do not reside close enough to make that feasible, the child may alternate between households for school holidays.

A compassionate Missouri City attorney could help a parent maximize their time with their children while keeping the kids’ needs in mind.

Sole Custody Vs Terminating A Parent’s Rights

Sole custody gives only one parent unfettered access to the child. In this case, the noncustodial parent cannot see their child without the permission of the custodial parent. As previously mentioned, Texas courts like to give both parents time with their child whenever possible, so it is highly unlikely that someone will end up with sole custody.

Usually, when it does happen, there has been some sort of abuse to the child, or the noncustodial parent has committed crimes that make them an unsafe guardian. If it is deemed that even a sole custody arrangement would not protect the child from harm, the judge may opt to terminate that parent’s right.

A motivated attorney serving Missouri City could help a parent get sole custody if their co-parent is abusive or otherwise poses a danger to the child’s welfare.

Talk To An Attorney About Various Forms Of Child Custody In Missouri City

As a parent, you want to keep the bond strong with your children, which requires regular contact. Depending on your child’s needs and your family situation, different forms of child custody in Missouri City may benefit you more than others. Reach out to our law firm today to learn more. Call us today at 713-714-3710 in Houston or at 512-572-1207 in Austin.