A new child custody law in Texas may result in less acrimonious divorce proceedings. All family lawyers know that child custody disputes are the messiest and often the most expensive. According to the journal article, the Texas law previously required that a child’s best interest comes when both parents are jointly involved in the raising of the children. As joint managing conservators, parents share the responsibility for decision making with respect to their children’s education, religious study, medical treatment and other major life decisions. Under the joint managing plan, one parent must be designated the primary residence of the child. The other parent was then designated the non custodial parent. This often created much conflict in divorces because parents had a joint custody plan, but they could not designate one parent to be a primary residence for the child.
Recently in 2009 the Texas legislature changed the laws and now allows for the holder of exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence to be jointly held. The parents plan must now only state a specific geographical residence area for the child.