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Child Custody and Support

This is a guide to laws, books, and other resources covering child support and child custody.

Child Custody

Custody of a child is one aspect of the parent-child relationship that can be determined in a SAPCR. This page will provide information on the process of obtaining and modifying custody of a child through the courts.

Note Child custody procedures may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the Family Issues page on the Disasters & Emergencies research guide for current information related to COVID-19 and child custody.

Child's Preference

Upon request by one of the parties in a custody suit, Texas law requires the court to interview a child who is at least twelve years old about their wishes about custody. The court must still make a decision that is in the best interest of the child, but the child can at least have the opportunity to have their preference heard. 

Texas Law:

Explained in "Plain English":

Texas Laws

Title 5 of the Texas Family Code pertains to the parent-child relationship in general. Below are a list of some of the chapters within that title that specifically discuss child custody.

Child Custody Explained in "Plain English"

Below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain custody laws in "plain English."

Visitation and Access

Visitation (also called "possession") and custody (also called "conservatorship") are two different issues under Texas law. The following links provide information on visitation rights in Texas.

Enforcement of Visitation and Possession Orders

If one party is not following the agreements set forth in the custody order, the other party can pursue enforcement of the order through the court. The following links explain the enforcement process and include relevant forms.

Non-parental Caregivers

Relatives such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older siblings caring for a child may run into difficulties if they are not the legal conservator of the child. The resources below contain information that may be helpful for non-parent caregivers.