Serving Families in Katy & Greater Houston
Call Today 832.781.0320
Hunt Law Firm Dedicated To Family Law

Joint Custody & Possession Schedules

Joint custody is one of the most common requests made of family law attorneys. Clients almost always want as much time with their kids as possible, which means dividing their children’s time between them. Joint custody involves children living with both of their parents in equal amounts; however, in Texas, this process can be complicated.

Texas family law uses the word “conservatorship” rather than “custody,” and it encompasses more than just the living arrangement. A conservatorship means a parent lives with the child and makes crucial decisions on behalf of his or her kid. These decisions could include things like religious training, medical care, and education.

There are also two types of conservatorship in Texas: joint and sole managing conservatorship. Sole managing conservatorship is usually reserved for circumstances in which the other parent might pose a danger to his or her children. For example, a parent with a history of violent criminal behavior, family violence, or substance abuse would not be awarded joint managing conservatorship; instead, the other parent would be granted sole managing conservatorship, and the other parent might receive visitation rights instead.

The Texas Family Code, to which all Texas judges are bound, also contains a detailed possession calendar called the Standard Possession Order (SPO). The SPO gives the non-primary parent about 42% possession time of the kids. Additionally, the expanded version of this schedule provides the non-primary parent with extra time, around 48%. Unless there are incredibly odd circumstances, most judges will order the SPO, or the expanded version, for the non-primary parent.

Likewise, if parents can informally agree to equal possession of their kids and have an agreement drafted into their final divorce decree, judges will likely refuse to sign the order because it deviates from the Texas Family Code. In cases like these, our skilled Katy family law attorneys have a way to get around the SPO and put an equal schedule in place.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that trial judges cannot set aside agreements made by parents during mediation, a type of alternative dispute resolution. By mediating a divorce, parents are presumed to be acting in their children’s best interests and are in a better position to know what their kids need. Thus, if parents agree to a 50/50 possession schedule and put it into their Mediated Settlement Agreement during mediation, a judge cannot overturn that agreement.

If you’re interested in discussing your case with a skilled lawyer, call Hunt Law Firm, PLLC today. Our firm can offer you compassionate advocates who are familiar with services such as mediation. Let us see what we can do to make this process as stress-free as possible.

Contact us at (832) 781-0320 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.