Texas Family Code:
Sec. 153.001. PUBLIC POLICY. (a) The public policy of this state is to:
(1) assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child;
(2) provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child; and
(3) encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.
(b) A court may not render an order that conditions the right of a conservator to possession of or access to a child on the payment of child support.
It seems pretty clear cut but despite that folks seem to line up to pay us good money to help them figure out how to get along. Texas has a presumption that parents will share rights and duties for care of their children. This can mean a lot of things legally but what it boils down to is that you may have joint legal custody but lack primary physical custody (the parent with which the child resides). That’s normal and accepted down at the Courts. Many people think only fathers can be noncustodial parents, but that is not the case. In Texas, about 10 percent of noncustodial parents are mothers and there isn’t a presumption one way or the other. You may not agree on custody but at least you can set some realistic parameters going into any custody situation. Ultimately, if there is a custody fight, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 153.002.
Call me if you want to discuss this further. (713) 780-9595