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Assisting Families Since 1980

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Divorce and Children – Who Decides?

From the beginning, parents seeking a divorce face important decisions.   Above all, mom or dad fail to realize the amount of detail in a divorce decree.  Extreme detail requires a lot of decision-making!  Divorce and Children – Who Decides requires experienced lawyers.  Lawyers and Family Law Judges use the phrase “parenting plan.”  The “parenting plan” details how certain decisions about the children will be made.    Actually, the parenting plan includes the results of all decisions relating to the children – no matter whether the parties decide or a Judge decides.  Regarding rights and duties, lawyers call the process of assigning rights and duties “allocating parental rights and duties.”  The Texas family code assigns some rights and duties to both parents at all times.   In addition, there are rights and duties that may be assigned to one parent.

Therefore, the following list requires allocation of parental rights and duties – in other words, who decides what:

  1. Who decides the child’s primary residence;
  2. Will mom or dad make medical and dental decisions together;
  3. Regarding psychological or psychiatric decisions – who decides what;
  4. Who pays child support;
  5. Which parent can represent the child in a legal battle;
  6. If the child wants to marry or join the military before 18, who can say yes;
  7. Who makes the child’s education decisions;
  8. Right To Services And Earnings Of The Child;
  9. The Right To Act As An Agent Of The Child;
  10. Duty To Manage The Child’s Estate.

In addition, the “best interests of the child” remains the guiding principle in the allocation of rights and duties.    Accordingly, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing equation – what is best for the child guides the discussion.   The best circumstances for the child after divorce is a healthy co-parenting relationship between the divorced parent.  So to encourage that, rights might be assigned jointly, after consultation, or independently.  Certain rights tend to be exclusively assigned including who pays child support and who decides where the child primarily live.    Since 1980, we have guided parents through the process.   Experience and excellence in representation matter.  Call us today for a consultation (281) 550-6650.

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