Child Custody Attorney Fort Worth TX
How Is Child Custody Determined In Texas?
In most cases, the spouse who was the primary caretaker during the divorce will continue with primary responsibility after divorce. The court will evaluate any competing households to determine the best place for the child to reside. In most cases, a child will stay in the same school district, and the courts will make every effort not to disrupt the child’s day-to-day activities after a divorce.
Some additional factors that are considered in the custody determination process include:
- The child’s age, gender, and health status.
- The child’s relationship with each parent and siblings.
- The ability of each parent to provide for physical, emotional, and educational needs.
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
- The child’s preferences (if they are old enough to express them).
- The ability of each parent to communicate and cooperate with the other parent regarding their child’s needs and welfare.
Our Fort Worth child custody attorneys from the Law Office of J. Kevin Clark P.C. can provide the assistance you need to build your case and protect the best interests of your children.
BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD STANDARD IN TEXAS
In Texas, the best interests of the child standard is the most significant factor considered in any child custody case. This means that the court will make a decision based on what is best for the child, as opposed to what either parent desires. The standard is used to make sure that a child’s well-being is prioritized, covering everything from emotional and physical needs, to safety and security.
While the court will make every decision based on the needs of a child, you have the opportunity to prove your case and demonstrate that your goals are in furtherance of your child’s interests. Our Fort Worth child custody lawyers will review your case, assess your objectives and work with appropriate experts when necessary. Whether at mediation or arbitration, negotiation and settlement or at trial, we have the experience to successfully protect your interests and achieve a long-term resolution for your family.
If you are facing divorce, you are faced with the challenge of dividing your time with the children. Whether you are seeking full custody or want to ensure that you have the opportunity to see your children and be involved after the divorce, we have the experience to protect your rights. At The Law Office of J. Kevin Clark P.C., in Fort Worth, Texas, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients involved in child custody and parental visitation legal disputes. We will take the time to review your case, assess your legal rights and work strategically to achieve optimal results.
TYPES OF CHILD CONSERVATORSHIPS IN TEXAS
Texas refers to child custody as “conservatorship” and there are two main types of conservatorship: joint conservatorship and sole conservatorship.
Joint Conservatorship/Joint Custody
In joint custody, both parents share the rights and responsibilities of raising their child. They must make all major decisions together including their child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing. However, a joint conservatorship does not always mean that the child spends equal time with each parent. Depending on the specific circumstance, the parenting time arrangement may differ from case to case.
Sole Conservatorship/Sole Custody
In sole custody, one parent has the exclusive right to make major decisions about the child’s upbringing (education, health, religion, etc.) and the other parent may have little to no decision-making authority. The non-custodial parent may still have visitation rights, but these could be limited. A sole conservatorship is usually chosen when the court determines that it is in the best interests of the child for one parent to have exclusive authority.
HOW DOES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AFFECT CHILD CUSTODY?
Often, people tend to keep mental or physical abuse a secret – unless, that is, child custody is at stake. When the issue of child custody is before the court, one parent may want to obtain sole custody to prevent the child from living with an abusive parent. The court will consider a history or threat of domestic violence when making a custody determination.
All courts in Texas are required to make custody decisions based on what the judge believes is in the best interest of the child. There are many factors to consider, including whether one parent may pose a threat to the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health. If one parent has previously engaged in domestic violence, it will certainly weigh against them in the custody case.
In some cases, however, the court may find that cutting off contact with the abusive parent altogether might not be in the best interests of the child. In other cases, the court may determine that the abuse was so severe that the abusive parent’s rights are completely terminated. This generally only occurs in extreme circumstances, though it can happen.
CHILD CUSTODY CASES WE HANDLE
Our Fort Worth child custody lawyers are experienced in cases involving:
- Custody disputes: A legal battle between two parents or guardians who are contesting the custody of a child or children where the purpose is to determine the best arrangement for the child’s welfare and safety.
- Visitation arrangements: This outlines when a non-custodial parent is allowed to spend time with their child. This can include weekends, holidays, and other designated times.
- Parenting plans & time
- Out-of-state relocation
- Modifications and enforcement
- Child support
- Grandparents’ rights