Now that you've divorced, your children don't live with you on a full-time basis, but you still want to be as involved in their lives as possible. What rights do you have under Texas law?
Unless a court rules otherwise, all parents always have the legal right to:
- Be informed by your co-parent about your child's schooling and well-being
- Have the co-parent consult with you when possible (such as in a non-emergency situation) before making any decisions about the child's schooling or well-being
- Review all medical and educational records pertaining to your child
- Consult with your child's medical professionals, including doctors, dentists and mental health providers
- Consult with your child's teachers and attend all school events
- Be the emergency contact on your child's school records
However, what if you're the parent who has primary custody of the child? You have certain requirements to fulfill. These are your duties unless the court has provided a waiver, such as in the case of where domestic violence is involved. Those responsibilities include:
- Providing an updated address or phone number, should either change
- Telling your co-parent if you are marrying, or plan to marry, a registered sex offender
Your child custody order should list these rights and responsibilities. It would be helpful to take a copy to your child's school and ask staff there to place it in your child's file. That way, the school will be aware of your rights and there won't be a problem in gaining access to records you want to see. The same should be done with your child's doctors and dentists.
Your right to co-parent your child is recognized by Texas law. If you encounter difficulties with your co-parent, a family law attorney can offer guidance.