Child Custody Attorneys Protecting Your Rights

Achieving your goals in a custody case is priceless. Opposition from your ex-spouse may be fierce, or it may be nonexistent. The help and representation of an experienced Texas family law attorney will benefit you immensely at either end of the spectrum.At Scott M. Brown & Associates, we ensure that all bases are covered. Our attorneys bring years of experience to your case. With a board-certified family law specialist on staff and a track record of successful child custody case results that exceeded our clients’ expectations, our Pearland child custody lawyers are prepared to be your tireless advocates in and out of the courtroom.Our lawyers craft creative custody agreements and visitation solutions for biological parents, stepparents, and grandparents. Speak with a lawyer today at 832-415-3539. You may also contact us by email or call to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a lawyer.

 

Need legal help in Texas?

Be it family law, divorce, criminal defense, or personal injury — our Texas family law attorneys are here to help. We are results-driven, and we work tirelessly for our clients.

Our Houston family law and divorce attorneys have been providing compassionate and personalized legal services in Texas. Scott M. Brown is a certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

 

Child Custody in Texas

A Texas court may issue a custody order in a variety of ways. Exclusive custody means that the child lives primarily with one parent and that the parent makes all of the decisions about the child’s upbringing. Contrary to common assumption, Texas courts prefer joint custody so that the child may have meaningful ties with both parents. 

Joint legal custody means the child stays with one parent and sees the other, but both parents are active in the child’s upbringing. When a child has shared custody, he or she has two homes and spends at least 35 percent of the year with each parent. 

 

Mandatory Parenting Class

All divorced parents with children in Texas must take parenting training. This requirement helps parents and children deal with divorce. Barring judicial approval, both parents must cooperate. If you don’t want to spend an afternoon or evening in a crowded classroom, you may quickly finish this prerequisite online.

 

Legal and Physical Custody

Legal custody entails a parent’s right to raise their child and make everyday life decisions for them, such as their education, religion, medical care, and activities. Physical custody means the child resides with the parent who has full physical custody in Texas.

While many people use “custody”, the Texas Family Code coined this “conservatorship.”

 

What is the Purpose of a Conservatorship?

Conservatorship or custody gives you the power to:

  • Get information provided by another parent regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare.
  • Obtain medical, dental, psychological, and educational records for a child.
  • Make an appointment with a pediatrician, dentist, or psychologist.
  • Discuss the child’s well-being and academic accomplishments with school authorities.
  • Consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment when the child’s health and safety are in jeopardy,

 

Types of Child Conservatorships

In Texas, there are two types of conservatorships:

Joint Managing Conservatorship

Parents are believed to be joint managing conservators (JMC) in Texas. Both spouses are parents in a JMC. Even in this situation, one parent may be given exclusive decision-making power. Remember that the court is looking out for the best interests of the child.

If both parents are conservators, the court will define their individual and combined responsibilities.

The challenge with a JMC is that it does not necessarily indicate that both parents have equal custody and access to the child, i.e., custody and visitation. 

 

Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC)

Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC) denotes that only one parent has legal custody of the child. A parent can take action as a result of an SMC, and these include:

  • Choosing a child’s main home;
  • Permitting medical and dental treatment to be provided;
  • Consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment;
  • A contact person for the child’s records was established;
  • The right to participate in school activities;
  • Support for children; and
  • Choosing a child’s educational path

Why Would a Court Allow SMC for a Single Parent? A court may award one parent an SMC for several reasons. Maybe one parent doesn’t want joint conservatorship (custody) management. Other reasons:

  • A history of abuse or neglect in the family;
  • The other parent’s addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other illicit activities;
  • The child has never known life without one of his or her parents; and
  • The parental conflict has been exacerbated by family values such as educational, medical, and religious views.

 

How Do Texas Courts Structure the Child’s Best Interests?

Divorce is a complicated process. Many parents are anxious about child custody. If parents cannot agree on child custody, the court will address conservatorship and possession issues. What does “child’s best interest” mean? In making its conclusion, the court may examine various factors.

 

Child’s Physical and Emotional Needs

Based on the child’s age and development, the court examines the child’s present and future needs. The court will look at each parent’s involvement in supporting the emotional and physical needs of the child, such as counseling, medical care, and meetings with school officials to address any special requirements. 

Has each parent shown that they can prioritize the needs of their child above their own? Has each parent demonstrated that they can recognize and address their children’s changing conditions as they get older? Has each parent actively encouraged their child’s intellectual and social growth? When assessing each parent’s involvement in the child’s care, the court will consider these factors.

 

The Stability of Each Parent

Given the importance of stability in a child’s development, the court will weigh elements, conditions including each parent’s capacity to maintain a steady house, work, and child care. Moving often, being unemployed for lengthy periods, changing intimate partners, schools, and child care providers might impact a parent’s capacity to establish a stable home environment.

 

Relationships With Both Parents

To ensure a child’s health, both parents must encourage the child’s relationship with the other caregiver. Parents may also interfere with time spent with children, speak negatively about another parent in front of children, or congratulate a child for rejecting their other parent. A child’s connection with one parent may be compromised if the other parent has a history of alienation or non-support.

 

Child Abuse Risk

If a parent has a history of drug misuse, physical or emotional abuse, a child’s relationship with that parent may be jeopardized. In certain circumstances, a parent must work closely with their lawyer to ensure that the court is aware of the issues and that the child’s safety is addressed when visiting the other parent. Emails, texts, journals, policy documents, and a witness’s testimony may be helpful to the court.

 

Parental Engagement with the Child

The court will consider both parents’ participation with the child. For example, if the “primary care” parent stays home when the child is sick, attends the child’s appointments, and enrolls the child in extracurricular activities, that parent may be assigned specific rights and duties. With joint decision-making, both parents will likely continue to share those tasks. The court tries to maintain the child’s normality.

 

Family and Community Support

The child should have a close bond with both parents, especially if there is a robust support system, such as extended family. Both parents may not always be able to go to the child’s primary residence. The court must weigh the benefits of staying in the same community against the disadvantages of moving away and resettling in a new area. The benefits of relocating the child (better employment, better schools, more prominent family or community support) are weighed versus keeping the child with the other parent in certain situations even though courts recognize that adjustments are sometimes necessary and ultimately beneficial to children.

Child’s Preferences

Only on rare occasions is a child’s decision taken into account. After the age of 12, a court may consider a child’s preferences when selecting where they live or how much time they spend with each parent. The child’s decisions do not bind the court. Some parents believe that when their child reaches the age of 12, they will make their own decisions; however, this is not the case. The court considers numerous issues, including the child’s decision. Before discussing with your child about his or her “preference,” consult with your lawyer or child’s counselor to avoid causing unnecessary stress.

 

Need legal help in Texas?

Be it family law, divorce, criminal defense, or personal injury — our Texas family law attorneys are here to help. We are results-driven, and we work tirelessly for our clients.

Our Houston family law and divorce attorneys have been providing compassionate and personalized legal services in Texas. Scott M. Brown is a certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

 

Visitation in Texas

In Texas, visitation is defined as the custody and control of a child. Unless the court determines that it is not in the child’s best interests and endangers their physical or mental well-being, a parent may be granted custody and access.

Visitation schedules are determined using Standard Possession Orders (SPO). An SPO is a visitation arrangement that is created by a court using guidelines. The court will, in any event, impose its schedule on the parents.

 

Child Support in Texas

When a Texas court decides on child custody, it almost always orders child support (the”non-custodial parent”). In most cases, child support is paid until the child reaches 18. Child support may be increased if a child has disabilities.

 

Creative Child Custody Solutions

Developing the best option for your case and obtaining a positive outcome in your child’s best interests requires a full grasp of your situation and legal work. We aim to assist you in being the most outstanding parent possible. That means you have all of the tools you’ll need to handle sole or shared custody. We’ll devise a plan to assist you in reaching your objectives while also meeting the requirements of your child in any of the following areas:

Cases involving child custody are sometimes contentious. Both parents may think that having exclusive physical custody is in their child’s best interests. It may be impossible to divide parenting time precisely in half, and it may not be in your child’s best interests to do so. As your child grows older and his or her needs and interests change, you may find yourself making changes to your agreements regularly.

You must have an experienced and aggressive legal advocate on your side. You’ll never be able to make up for wasted time with your child.

Because child support rules in Texas may be confusing at times, it’s a good idea to seek legal assistance with a competent child custody attorney if you have concerns about your case. A skilled lawyer specializing in family law can interpret the details of the law and how it applies to your specific situation.

Speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers serving the Pearland area today. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

 

 

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