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Co-parenting in Texas: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

Custody and Child Support in Texas

Under §154.001 of the Texas Family Code, a parent may be appointed sole managing conservator, joint managing conservator, or possessory conservator of a child. These titles refer to the types of custody granted to a parent. A parent declared sole managing conservator has the exclusive right to make certain decisions regarding their child, whereas a parent declared joint managing conservator is granted shared rights and duties.


Under §154.042 of the Texas Family Code, the court may also order either or both parents to pay child support. This is usually based on an income percentage, with the amount of child support paid determined by wage and percentage tables set out in the Texas Family Code.


Co-Parenting Expenses in Texas

Co-parenting expenses such as healthcare and educational costs are addressed in §153.002 of the Texas Family Code, which states that the court may order either or both parents to bear certain expenses incurred in the care, maintenance and support of the child. Such costs may include medical, dental, optometric, psychiatric, and psychological accounts, as well as drugs and orthodontic costs. Supplementary educational and extracurricular expenses may also be awarded.


Parental Rights in Texas

An individual's rights as a parent are set out in §152.001 of the Texas Family Code. Such rights include the right to receive information regarding the child's physical, psychological, and emotional health, the right to confer with medical, dental and other health care providers, the right access to records and information related to the child, and the right to consult with the child's school regarding their academic progress. A parent may also be allowed under some circumstances to confer with extracurricular activities staff.


Decisions and Parenting Plan in Texas

The Texas Family Code requires that a comprehensive parenting plan be developed as part of a final decree of divorce. This plan must set out how decisions will be made regarding the health, welfare and education of a child, and must include provisions for communication between the parents, how relocation will be handled, and dispute resolution processes. Under §153.006 of the Texas Family Code, the parenting plan developed must serve the best interests of the child.


Visitation Rights in Texas

Visitation rights in Texas are governed by §153.251 of the Texas Family Code. Under this Section, a court may award reasonable possessory or access rights a.k.a Standard Possession Order to a parent if it finds that such visitation is in the best interests of the child. This includes provisions for reasonable access to the child by each parent as well as reimbursement for reasonable transportation costs between parents’ homes.


Mediation in Texas

According to §153.0064 of the Texas Family Code, the court may refer the parties to mediation when there are unresolved disputes relating to child custody or other aspects of parenting arrangements. This can help parents resolve issues without having to take the dispute to court. The court may also appoint a facilitator to assist the parties in reaching agreement and may award reasonable compensations and costs.



As this article demonstrates, Texas law provides for a range of measures to facilitate successful co-parenting. From the grant of specific rights, to guidelines for the payment of child support and shared expenses, to mediation for dispute resolution, Texas law has a comprehensive framework for co-parents to build upon.


Fact Check and Sources

In writing this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:


Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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