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Parents’ rights when they are and are not with the child in Texas

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2022 | Family Law

In Texas family law cases, it is not unusual for people to be unsure of the scope of their rights with child custody and visitation. For example, they might not be aware of their right to have information about the child’s care and treatment when they are not with the child. A parent who is exercising their parenting time (called possession in Texas) is obligated to keep the custodial parent apprised of what is happening with the child if they ask.

While this is to ensure that the parental rights are adhered to, it can also lead to dispute about how the caretaker is overseeing the child’s care. In some cases, it can be even more problematic with medical care, schooling and general welfare. To prevent these circumstances from escalating into extended dispute or settle them when they do, it is useful to understand the law regarding the parent’s rights in general and their rights and duties during periods of possession.

Parents have specific rights, even if they do not have the child with them

If a child is ill and goes to see a doctor, the parent in possession does not have the right to choose not to inform the other parent. While it might not be a serious illness, the parent who does not have the child at the time can still ask to be informed about it. This is an example of a situation the parents must accept when they are co-parenting.

Decisions that are made on the child’s behalf, such as their schooling, their living arrangements, extracurricular activities and more must be shared. The same is true when the parent is consulting with professionals about the child’s well-being and future. In short, both parents should be kept current on the whereabouts and care provided to the child.

The parent who has possession can also discipline the child. They must provide support, clothing, medical care, shelter, nutrition and to consent to medical care and treatment that is not invasive. They can also decide on religious training.

Parental disputes over a child’s care should be addressed with professional help

It is unfortunate that in a family law case, conflict sometimes occurs. When the disagreement is about children, it is an emotional challenge that can lead to the deterioration of an already fraught relationship and put the child in the middle. Despite that, there are viable solutions to most problems, even those centering on child custody and visitation.

When there are concerns that a parent is not adhering to an established agreement, it is imperative to have professional advice to try and find a way to solve the problem. That may be possible through negotiation and discussion. When people understand the other parent’s viewpoint, they may be more agreeable. Even in cases where the parents have staked their position and are not planning to adapt, there are ways to find effective solutions.

Every case is different and having advice on how to navigate these complicated issues can be useful. From the start, it is beneficial to have professional guidance as trying to solve the dispute without it can be costlier and end up making matters worse. Before making a mistake, it is important to seek experienced help and have a consultation about the law and the personal concerns.