Child Custody

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Child Custody

Can Your 12-year-old Decide Which Parent to Live/Visit With?

Duration of a Child Custody and Child Support Order.

Texas courts generally have jurisdiction to make orders regarding the support and conservatorship of a child until that child reaches the age of eighteen or until that child graduates high school, whichever occurs later. However, this jurisdiction can be extended if the court deter- mines that a child has a physical or mental disability that exists prior to the child’s eigh- teenth birthday and the court determines that the child will not be capable of self-sup- port. If you have a child that has any form of disability, it is important for you to con- sult with an attorney prior to the finalization of your divorce to ensure that you are preserving the rights for that disabled child.


The Right to Decide Where a Child will Live

Only one parent may have the right to establish the primary residency of the children. The parent who is named the Primary Joint Managing Conservator or the custodial parent will typically be restricted geographically on where they can reside with the children. This geographic restriction will be listed in the Final Decree of Divorce and will usually restrict the residence of the children to the county in which the children resided prior to the divorce if both parties still reside in the same county or the county where the divorce is pending. Courts will sometimes expand this geographic restriction to also include the counties that are contiguous to the restricted county.