Impact of Divorce to Parental Rights and Duties in Houston TX

Parents have a number of parental rights and duties in Houston TX. Parental rights and duties in Houston TX applies equally to all parents, whether they are married or unmarried. Simply because parents divorce or separate does not mean that their parental duties cease and that their rights as parents disappear.

One of the most important parental duties in Texas is the obligation to support one’s children. When the parents live together, both parents usually contribute to their children’s expenses by paying the rent or mortgage, purchasing groceries, and chipping in for field trips and school supplies. However, once the parents divorce, the children transition to a single-parent household. To ensure that both parents continue to properly support the children, Texas family courts will order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. This obligation continues until the children reach eighteen years of age or graduate high school, whichever occurs later. In Texas, a court cannot order child support for college.

A common disagreement that occurs after parents separate or divorce is how decision-making for the children will be handled. Often, the custodial parent feels that he or she should make most of the decisions, causing the non-custodial parent to feel frustrated. However, Texas law provides that a parent has the right to make certain decisions for the children, such as decisions that impact their education. Even if the parents no longer live together, both parents may contribute to such decisions.

Both parents also have the right to consent to medical and dental treatment for the children, to consent to their enlistment in the armed forces, and to consent to their marriages if they are minors. One parent cannot exclude the other from such decisions, even if they are separated or divorced. The parents should keep each other well informed so that decisions may be made accordingly.