What is the Texas custody law for a newborn baby?

Asked over 3 years ago - Beaumont, TX

I live in Texas and my husband has thrown me (5 months pregnant) and our 20 month old adopted son out and filed for divorce. He is very arrogant due to being a federal law inforcement officer. He's always throwing around that the judge will side with him because of his career. It worries me terribly. We currently have a standard custody agreement in place for our son (1st, 3rd, 5th weekends). The divorce will not finalize until after the baby is born. What kind of custody agreement can I expect for a newborn. FYI- I do plan on breastfeeding. My husband has stated that he will get visitation alone with the newborn. I don't really know because he is always distorting the truth. I have asked my lawyer and they have been very vague in there answer and told me not to worry about it yet.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. M Elizabeth Gunn

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this right now--being pregnant can certainly be hard enough without adding something that stressful into the mix. Obviously, to some extent what you end up with on this will depend in the judge, but very definitely, Texas law tries to account for the fact that babies are just not the same as older kids, perhaps particularly where breastdeeding is concerned. The Family vide section involved doesn't explicitly state that (maybe so as not to seem "discriminatory"?), but that's a factor the judge will consider, and not to second-guess your attorneys, but it would have been very easy for them to just let you know that. Here's the statute:

    TEXAS FAMILY CODE ยง153.254. CHILD LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF AGE
    (a) The court shall render an order appropriate under the circumstances for possession of a child less than three years of age.
    (b) The court shall render a prospective order to take effect on the child's third birthday, which presumptively will be the standard possession order.

    I've never handled such a case personally, but one way of handling the breastdeeding issue is to set things up so that while the child is still nursing, there might be something more along the lines of two or three short periods of possession by the father spread throughout the week instead of the usual every other weekend setup.

    And as for the judge aiding with your husband because he's a federal law enforcement officer, well, he shouldn't be too sure of that. One, the divorce will be in a state court, not federal, and that makes it not too likely your judge will ever even have heard of him or much care who he is. Two, if his lawyer lets him open his mouth, te judge should be able to tell pretty quickly what a cocky...individual he is. Judges don't like that. Three, unless there's some pretty serious sin you've committed, how on earth is he planning on overcoming the whole, "Yeah, I kicked my pregnant wife and baby boy out of the house-what's your point?" issue. Judges are human, and while they certainly see and hear a lot of sad and sometimes even shocking things in a daily basis, there are some things that are just a little harder to get past than others. This might be one of them. I hope you get past this and find happiness sooner than you think--I know this is hard, but you will manage to get yourself and your kids through it in one piece. I wish you the best.

    This answer is intended only to give you general information on the subject you've asked about and does not... more
  2. Christopher Jay Harding

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . There is no standard possession order with children that young. It will depend on the circumstances of the case. I have seen custody orders where Dad gets regular 1/3/5 weekends all the way to only 2 hours at a time. If you have a lawyer, trust them. If you don't trust them, you need to hire someone new.

    This answer is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice... more

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