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Is Texas A 50/50 Child Custody State?

Child custody matters are of utmost importance in family law, with each state in the United States having its own set of guidelines and regulations. In Texas, understanding the custody arrangement is crucial for parents seeking the best outcome for their children. One common misconception is that Texas follows a strict 50/50 custody model, but the reality is more nuanced.

This article aims to clarify the intricacies of child custody in Texas, shedding light on the factors considered in custody determinations and exploring alternative arrangements. By doing so, we hope to equip parents with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions that prioritize their child’s well-being.

Understanding Child Custody In Texas

Texas, like most states, recognizes different types of custody arrangements, including joint custody and sole custody. Joint custody involves both parents sharing decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, while sole custody grants one parent primary custody, and the other typically has visitation rights. The overarching principle of the Texas Family Code is to promote the best interests of the child, which guides all custody determinations.

Factors Considered In Texas Custody Determinations

Several factors are taken into account when deciding on child custody arrangements in Texas. These factors may include the parent-child relationship and involvement, the physical and mental health of the parents, the child’s preference (if appropriate), the stability of the home environment, and any history of domestic violence or abuse (if applicable). Texas courts prioritize the child’s well-being above all else, ensuring that custody arrangements foster a safe and nurturing environment.

Texas Custody Laws & Standard Possession Order (SPO)

In Texas, custody laws revolve around the “Standard Possession Order” (SPO), which outlines a typical visitation schedule for non-custodial parents. The SPO offers specific guidelines for weekends, holidays, and extended summer periods. Currently, the state’s standard possession order gives the custodial parent 75% of the time with the child with the noncustodial parent given 25%.

However,  the SPO is a default arrangement, and courts may deviate from it when it serves the child’s best interests. Courts in Texas prioritize flexibility and adaptability to meet the individual needs of each family.

50/50 Custody In Texas

The concept of a 50/50 custody arrangement involves both parents having equal time with the child. While some states have adopted this approach, Texas does not rigidly adhere to a 50/50 model. Instead, the focus is on creating custody arrangements that serve the child’s best interests. While joint custody is common, it may not necessarily entail a precisely equal division of time. Each case is unique, and the court will tailor custody arrangements to suit the child’s specific needs and circumstances.

Recently, an increasing number of family judges in Texas have been willing to depart from the standard custody procedures in the state and instead favor 50/50 shared child custody arrangements. There was even an attempt by state legislators to pass a law granting parents equal time with their children. While this equal parenting bill did not pass it did mark a change in attitude towards the approach to custody arrangements in the state.


While Texas does not strictly adhere to a 50/50 custody model, it emphasizes the importance of creating tailored custody arrangements that prioritize the child’s best interests. Understanding the factors considered in custody determinations and exploring alternative arrangements can empower parents to make informed decisions for their children’s well-being. By seeking legal guidance and prioritizing effective co-parenting, parents can navigate the custody process with confidence, ultimately fostering a positive and stable environment for their children to thrive.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced child custody lawyers takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. We understand the financial burden a divorce can have on an individual. As such we have created our industry-first SimpleStart™ program, providing people a chance to reduce the amount of money needed upfront to start their case. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.



8701 N Mopac Expy, STE 105,
Austin, TX 78759

(737) 252-7395


90 NE Interstate 410 Loop #700,
San Antonio, TX 78216

(210) 981-6736


7557 Rambler Road #956,
Dallas, TX 75231

(469) 871-8050

By: MFL Team

Posted September 05, 2023

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