What To Know About The Rights Of Non Custodial Parents In Texas
In Texas, the terms conservatorship and possession are used instead of custody and visitation. That being said, the general concepts are the same. Under Texas Family Code § 153.002, the best interests of a child will “always be the primary consideration” in determining conservatorship and possession.
If you are the parent without primary physical custody of a child (possession), you still have important legal rights. At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., we want to make sure you can protect your interests. Here, our Galveston County child custody attorneys highlight five tips for non custodial parents in Texas.
- Know How Decision-Making Authority is Divided
Typically, the term “non-custodial parent” is used to describe the parent who does not have primary physical possession of a child. This parent may or may not have shared legal custody (a joint managing conservatorship). As a non-custodial parent in Galveston County, it is crucial that you understand your decision-making authority.
- Create a Clear, Effective Parenting Plan
Co-parenting after a divorce or separation can be complicated. As a non-custodial parent, you can benefit from creating and implementing a clear, effective parenting plan. A parenting plan should be comprehensive. Ideally, it should contain a detailed and reliable child time-sharing schedule.
- Put an Emphasis on Positive Communication
Shared parenting works best when the parties are able to communicate effectively. It is better for you, your children, and your family if you are able to keep lines of communication open. As a non-custodial parent, it is important to put an emphasis on productive, ongoing communication.
- Be Ready to Protect Your Precious Time
By definition, non-custodial parents have less time with their children. It is one of the challenges of being a divorced or separated parent without being the possessory conservator. For this reason, it is imperative that non-custodial parents get access to all of their precious time with their kids. If your co-parent refuses to stick to the child time-sharing agreement—thereby improperly denying you parenting time—you need to be ready to take action. A Galveston, TX custody lawyer can help.
- Stay Up on Child Support (But Keep Time & Support Separate)
In most cases, non-custodial parents pay child support to their parent who has a possessory conservatorship (primary physical custody). It is essential that you stay up to date on your child support payments. If you cannot make payments for financial reasons, take immediate action—you may even be eligible for reduction in child support via modification. At the same time, non-custodial parents should know that child support and child visitation are separate matters. You are still entitled to time with your kids even if you fall behind on child support payments.
Contact Our Galveston County Child Custody Lawyers Today
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Texas family attorneys have deep experience handling complex custody & visitation cases. If you are a non custodial parent with questions about your rights, we can help. Contact our firm right away to schedule a fully confidential consultation. We represent parents all around Galveston County, including in Galveston, Texas City, and Santa Fe.