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Texas Child Custody Laws

In Texas, the law refers to child custody as “conservatorship." Texas child custody laws are in compliance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which seeks to minimize child custody conflicts that involve more than one state.

This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in the state of Texas.

Child Custody Laws in Texas

When it comes to custody cases, parents may choose to file a parenting plan (proposed custody and/or visitation schedule) with the court. If parents do not submit a parenting plan, the court will decide on a custody arrangement for the parties. As with most other states, Texas courts are required to consider the child's own wishes when making a custody determination. In addition, the court also considers a number of other factors, including:

  • Whether joint conservatorship (joint custody) would benefit the child's physical, psychological, and emotional well-being;
  • Whether each parent will encourage and promote a relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • Whether the parents can communicate effectively to make decisions that promote the child's best interests;
  • How much each of the parents contributed to the child's upbringing before the custody case was filed;
  • How close or far each parent's home is located in relation to the other; and
  • Any other factors the court determines should be considered under the circumstances of the case.

Learn more about Texas child custody laws in the table below. See How Child Custody Decisions are Made for additional information.

Code Section

§ 153. 001 et seq. of the Texas Family Code

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 153.134

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 153.433

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes, if the child is age 12 or older

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Child Custody Laws in Texas: More Resources

For more information on Texas's child custody laws, visit the links provided below to access additional resources. You can also learn more about the topic in general, by browsing FindLaw's section on child custody which contains information on related issues such as types of child custody, custody mediation, parenting agreements, visitation rights, visitation schedules, paternity, and grandparent's rights.

Research the Law

Texas Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help with Child Custody

If you and your child's other parent are separating, you might not agree on who gets custody of your child or what that custody arrangement looks like. There are many other factors to consider in these determinations, but the court's primary concern is the best interests of the child. One of the best ways to get a handle on the process is to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

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