If you become the primary custodial parent (or simply the custodial parent) after your divorce in the State of Texas, you will enjoy certain parental rights. Although every custody case follows its own course and results in its own terms, there are some basics that generally apply. Custody is obviously an important component of every divorce that involves children, and a better understanding of what it means to become the custodial parent post-divorce can help. (Related: What Not to Do if Your Goal Is Primary Custody)
What It Doesn’t Mean
When discussing what it means to become the custodial parent, it is important to get what it does not mean out of the way. If you are the primary custodial parent, it does not mean that you will call all the shots and that your children’s other parent must follow your lead regarding decision making, visitation, and other important parental rights. This being said, however, there are certain rights that are bestowed upon you.
Becoming the primary custodial parent does not necessarily mean that you will be granted sole legal custody, which refers to who makes important decisions on the children’s behalf. These decisions relate to your children’s healthcare, education, extracurriculars, and religious upbringing, and they can be made by one parent, can be shared by both of you, or can be divided in a manner that suits your strengths and interests as parents. Some of the major rights herein include:
The right to make decisions related to your children’s education, health care (both mental and physical), and welfare
The right to obtain your children’s records, including records related to their education and to their medical, psychological, and dental care
The right to attend your children’s school activities (Wondering how you will manage your children's after school activities? Click here to read more)
The right to consent to emergency medical treatment for any one of your children
The right to consult with your children’s doctors (of every kind)
The right to consult with school officials about your children’s educational status
The right to be listed as one of your children’s emergency contacts
The right to manage your children’s estates
Your Rights as the Custodial Parent
As the custodial parent, you do have certain important rights that typically include:
The right to establish your children’s primary residence
The right to receive child support on behalf of your children
It is important to note that you and your ex will very likely both have scheduled time with your shared children, and when they are with one or the other of you, the everyday decisions that parents routinely make become the purview of the parent who is with the children at the time.
An Experienced Killeen Divorce Attorney Can Help
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard is an accomplished Killeen divorce attorney who has impressive experience helping clients like you obtain favorable custody terms that support their parental rights now and into the future. Your case is important, so please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about what we can do to help you today.