An Overview of Parental Rights in Texas

An Overview of Parental Rights in Texas

September 25, 2019

If you’re going through a divorce and you have minor children, it is crucial that you understand your parental rights in Texas and do everything you can to enforce them. By recognizing the rights you have, you set yourself up for a greater chance of success in your legal battles and can protect your children and their health and happiness.

Your rights as a parent in Texas are spelled out clearly in the Texas Family Code. Among these rights is the right for you to maintain physical possession of the child in your home, without interference of any sort from the law. Of course, this freedom can be altered by a divorce decree or parenting plan that results in more complicated living arrangements for your children.

The Texas Family Code also outlines violations of parental rights, including when it is a violation for one parent to take physical possession of the child outside of pre-approved locations and times. If you’re the custodial parent, you have the right to know where the child is at all times and to enforce visitation schedules as strictly as you need to. The visiting parent cannot deviate from the visitation schedule without court permission, meaning no extra-long trips and no abruptly taking the child out of the area without your knowledge. Doing so could result in kidnapping charges against the visiting parent.

Your rights to raise and build a relationship with your children

The rights you have as a parent extend far beyond physical custody, and extend into how you raise your children and the kind of relationship you can build with them.

You have the right as a parent in Texas to participate in your child’s development, including their moral and religious development, and to make decisions on your child’s behalf in these and other areas. Some areas in which you have a protected right to provide input into decision-making include healthcare (such as the kinds of procedures or treatment your child will or will not receive), education (such as the schools you wish your child to attend) and participation in extracurricular activities.

All of these rights are held by both parents unless the court modifies them in an arrangement it deems to be in the child’s best interest. In general, the court considers it to be the best arrangement for the child to have both parents take an active role in their upbringing and for both parents to have a strong relationship with their children.

If one parent believes the child could be harmed by maintaining a relationship or having frequent contact with the other parent, they must go through the court system to restrict the other parent’s access, rather than taking it upon themselves to do so. By handling the situation themselves, they could ultimately be considered in contempt of court by ignoring court orders about child custody and visitation.

For more information about the various rights of parents in Texas, contact the team at The Law Office of Rob Biggers today.

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