Sole custody, also known as sole managing conservatorship in Texas, is when one parent has the sole responsibility for raising and caring for the child. This means that the parent with sole custody has the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, including where they live, what school they attend, and what medical care they receive. Typically, the other parent’s only right will be to visit the child under a parenting plan approved by the court.
Obtaining sole custody of your child can be a difficult process, but it is possible if you can prove to the court that it is in the child’s best interests.
When will the court grant sole custody?
The court will only grant sole custody if it finds that the other parent is unfit or unable to care for the child. This can be due to a number of factors, including:
- Abuse or neglect of the child
- Substance abuse
- Mental illness
- Domestic violence
- Criminal history
The court will always consider the child’s best interests when making a custody decision. This includes factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s needs, and the child’s stability.
How to obtain sole custody in Texas
To obtain sole custody in Texas, you must file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) with the court. The SAPCR must state that you are seeking sole managing conservatorship of your child.
Once you have filed the SAPCR, you must serve the other parent with a copy of the petition. The other parent will then have an opportunity to file a response.
If the other parent does not file a response, the court may grant you sole custody by default. However, if the other parent does file a response, the court will hold a hearing to determine custody.
At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence to support your request for sole custody. This evidence may include:
- Testimony from witnesses, such as family members, friends, and professionals who have worked with the child
- Documents, such as police reports, medical records, and school records
- Expert testimony from psychologists and other mental health professionals
The other parent will also have the opportunity to present evidence to support their position.
After the hearing, the court will issue a ruling on custody. If the court finds that it is in the child’s best interests, the court may grant you sole custody.
Tips for increasing your chances of obtaining sole custody
If you are seeking sole custody of your child, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of success:
- Gather evidence to support your claims. This may include police reports, medical records, school records, and testimony from witnesses.
- Be prepared to testify at the custody hearing. Be honest and forthright in your testimony, and be able to answer any questions the court may have.
- Hire an experienced family law attorney. A good attorney can help you gather evidence, prepare for the hearing, and represent you in court.
Obtaining sole custody of your child can be a difficult process, but it is possible if you can prove to the court that it is in the child’s best interests. By following the tips above, you can increase your chances of success.
This is just a general overview of the process of obtaining sole custody in Texas. For specific advice, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney here at Lundberg Law to address your specific needs.