Child Custody Lawyer in Houston, TX
Helping Create a Safe Environment So Kids Can Flourish
Of all family law issues, child custody is one of the most emotional for families with children to walk through. This issue is usually borne out of another difficult and disrupted family relationship resulting in a separation or divorce. Amidst these circumstances it is likely that tensions will run high, parents will become focused on their desired outcome, and children can become caught in the middle. However, a reputable family law attorney can compassionately assist with your child custody case to help ensure that your child’s best interests are being advocated for and that your rights as a parent are protected.
Child Custody and Conservatorship in Texas
Although many individuals commonly refer to it as child custody, the State of Texas refers to having custody of a child as conservatorship. To have conservatorship of a child is to be responsible for a child’s overall wellbeing, which can include their education, health, and safety.
Child Custody Mediation
In Texas, the child comes first when it comes to matters of child custody. This means that the state requires parents to make a good faith effort to come up with a plan that is in their child’s best interest. Generally, mediation is required before Temporary and Final Orders. This approach to child custody gives parents the opportunity to calmly and amicably establish a custody plan that is fair and beneficial for the child without the family having to appear in court other than to prove up the agreement.
Types of Child Custody
In some cases, mediation between parents is not successful. This typically means that one or both parents will ask for some form of custody. The most common types of custody awarded can include:
Joint Managing Conservatorship:
This type of child custody generally implies the shared custody of a child and shared rights, powers and duties.
Sole Managing Conservatorship:
If a parent is granted sole managing conservatorship, that parent is given exclusive decision-making power regarding the children, with the other parent having only limited rights and duties.
Child Custody Influences
If a court of law is tasked with determining what conservatorship arrangement is in the best interest of a child, the following issues can heavily influence the outcome of the court’s ruling on a child custody case:
- A parent’s personal relationship with the child
- The child’s personal relationship with each parent
- The child’s needs and wishes
- The location of a parent’s residence and the stability of the parent and the home
- A parent’s employment
- A parent’s age, health, and well-being (as well as any history of substance abuse or smoking)
- A parent’s past or present involvement with domestic violence or child abuse
In addition to these considerations for a child’s future best interests, the court also typically reviews which parent has contributed the most to taking care of the child on a regular basis in the past. This can cover a wide variety of duties including feeding, bathing, transportation and homework, as well as attending doctor appointments, school activities and extracurricular activities.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help
Contested child custody determinations are difficult for all parties involved. For that reason, it is important to behave in a way that honors your child. One of the best ways to achieve this can be to enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney.
As your legal representative, an attorney can walk you through each step of the child custody process in an efficient manner. An experienced family law attorney will encourage you to try to work out custody arrangements before submitting the matter to a Court for a determination. This allows the parties to have more control over the terms of the final agreement.
For those that are not able to work things out in mediation, a family law attorney can assist with pursuing child custody in a court of law in a way that serves the Clients needs and desires, and the child’s best interests.
If you are considering pursuing child custody in Texas, arrange to have a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys to discuss your current situation, future options, and what is best for you and your child.