Custody in El Paso Divorce Cases: A Primer - Introduction

This article discusses the meaning of the word "custody," and explains the different types of custody and the various rights they entail. The article ends with an explanation of how these custody rights can be divided in a divorce decree.

A Little Vocabulary: Custody is Not Possession or Visitation

Most people - including many divorce lawyers - use the term "custody" to refer to the time that they have the children. This is fine for every day conversation. But in the legal context and in your divorce decree, "custody" refers to your rights as a parent, not your visitation schedule.

The proper term for the time that you have the children is either "possession" or "visitation."

The word "access" can also be the same thing as "possession" or "visitation," but it can also refer to time that you can talk to the kids over the phone, internet chat or web cam. In these situations, you have "access" to the kids without actually having physical "possession" of them.

So What the Heck does "Custody" Mean?

Custody refers to your rights as a parent. Under Texas divorce law, these rights are broken down into two main categories:

  • Legal Custody; and
  • Physical Custody

It is important to understand the rights that these categories involve. If you are facing a divorce in El Paso with children, this will be the most important part of your divorce decree. To make things simple, let's look at some examples of your rights under these categories.

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854