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Child Custody Attorney in Richmond, Texas
Conservatorship is the legal term in Texas. Rather than calling a parent a “custodian,” Texas courts call them a “conservator.” In law, a parent’s rights and duties are defined as conservatorship. Unless both parents agree, a family law judge will set the conservatorship’s conditions. The court will only accept a written agreement if both parents agree. If you need help with your child custody case in Texas, consult our Richmond & Katy child custody attorney today.
How does Texas family court determine custody arrangements?
A Texas court has numerous options when deciding custody. One parent may be given sole custody, which means the child lives with that parent, and that parent has sole responsibility for the child’s development.
However, Texas courts favor joint custody arrangements to provide meaningful contact with both parents. Joint legal custody means the child lives primarily with one parent and visits the other, but both parents are involved in the child’s development.
Shared custody means the child has two residences and spends at least 35% of the year with each parent. Shared custody is rarely used as a final option. There must be children in this arrangement, and each parent gets full custody of one.
Under Texas Statutes, Family Code, Chapter 153, the child’s best interest takes precedence above all other criteria.
- Maintain constant touch with parents who have shown a willingness to act in their child’s best interest;
- Offer a safe, stable, and quiet environment for children; and
- Encourage separated or divorced parents to share in child-rearing duties and responsibilities.
The Law Offices of Annie Scott’s experienced family law and child custody attorneys in Richmond, Texas, can help you resolve your custody and other legal issues. Consult with our compassionate family law attorneys in Texas today!
Managing Conservatorship or Legal Child Custody in Texas
The term “managing conservatorship” refers to a parent’s involvement in making crucial life decisions for their child. This includes medical requirements, educational, cultural, and religious upbringing.
Under Texas law, both parents are presumed to have joint managing conservatorships, meaning they are involved in crucial life decisions affecting the child. A court may appoint one parent as the “sole” managing conservator; this may occur when one of the parents’ decision-making abilities has been impaired by alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence.
Our seasoned Richmond Texas child custody attorney will assist you with your child custody case and help you get the best outcome for you and your family. Schedule a consultation with our Texas family law firm today!
Joint Managing Conservatorship
In Texas, parents are presumed to be joint managing conservators (JMC). In a JMC, both partners are parents. Even in this case, one parent may be granted exclusive decision-making authority. Remember, the court looks out for the child’s best interests. If both parents are conservators, the court will spell out their roles individually and collectively.
The tricky thing about a JMC is that it doesn’t always imply both parents have equal possession and access to the child, i.e., custody and visitation. Standard Possession Orders (SPO) are used to determine visitation schedules.
Sole Managing Conservatorship
Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC) means the state primarily allows one parent to make certain child-related decisions.
An SMC provides parent privileges like:
- Choosing the child’s principal residence;
- Accepting medical and dental care;
- Receiving mental and psychological care;
- Having your name on the child’s records as emergency contact;
- Right to school activities;
- Getting child support; and
- Choosing a child’s schooling.
A court may grant an SMC to one parent for several reasons. Maybe one parent doesn’t want to share conservatorship (custody) duties. Others reasons can include:
- Family violence or maltreatment by the other parent;
- The other parent has a drug, alcohol, or criminal record;
- The child’s other parent has been absent; and
- The parents have a history of severe disagreement about educational, medical, and religious beliefs.
Possessory Conservatorship or Physical Child Custody
In terms of possessory conservatorship, the law allows parents to choose when their children will live with them and have access to them.
If the parents can’t agree, the law provides a “standard possession order” that specifies when each parent will see the child. The sequencing varies depending on the parents’ distance. Also, possession orders seldom include children under the age of three.
Notably, shared managing conservatorship does not entail equal or nearly equal possession time or access with the child.
If the court finds that the basic possession order’s requirements are inappropriate in a given case, it may amend them. Judges may limit possession orders to protect a child’s or parent’s safety. For example, a court can order a parent not to drink before or during custody of their child.
Our reliable and compassionate child custody attorney in Richmond, Texas will assist you with your child custody case and help you get the best outcome for you and your family. Schedule a consultation with our Texas family law firm today!
Conservatorship and Child Custody Rights in Texas
Conservatorship or custody involves the right to:
- Learn about the child’s health, education, and welfare from the child’s other parent;
- Obtain a child’s medical, dental, psychiatric, and educational records;
- Consult a pediatrician, dentist, or psychologist;
- Talk to school authorities about the child’s well-being and academic progress; and
- Consent to medical, dental, and surgical care when the child’s health and safety are at imminent risk.
Our experienced Richmond child custody attorney will assist you with your child custody case. Schedule a consultation with our Texas family law firm today!
The Best Interests of the Child
The best interests of the child standard are defined under Texas Family Code 154.004.
Suppose the child is over the age of 12. In that case, the court will consider each parent’s ability to care for the child, whether the parents can work together or not to raise the child. Each parent’s financial situation, employment situation (including travel and work hours that may limit each parent’s availability), and the child’s preference will be thoroughly evaluated.
The child’s best interest must be the court’s primary concern in deciding conservatorship, possession, and access to the child. The Texas Supreme Court offered a list of criteria to examine to help justices make decisions.
- Child’s wishes;
- Future physical and emotional requirements of the child;
- Danger to the child’s health or well-being;
- Each parent’s parenting skills;
- Programs that help parents promote their child’s best interests;
- Plans for the child of each parent;
- The planned or existing home’s stability;
- Inactions or omissions that suggest a dysfunctional parent-child relationship; and
- The parents’ justification for their conduct or inaction
A child’s wishes appear in the list of considerations. That doesn’t imply the court has to follow the child’s lead. A child can only independently decide which parent to live with or spend time with once they turn 18 (barring extraordinary circumstances).
Our experienced Richmond child custody attorney will assist you throughout the proceedings and support fighting for your child’s custody. Schedule a consultation with our Texas family law firm today!
Unsupervised visitation is granted under a Standard Possession Order. It allows for visitation on alternate weekends, typically the first, third, and fifth of each month.
Non-custodial parents who reside more than 100 miles away usually get one weekend per month and alternate visitation. Both parents have the right to spend holidays with their children. A non-custodial parent is entitled to 30 days of visitation over the summer. If the parents reside more than 100 miles apart and the non-custodial parent only gets one weekend visitation each month, the summer visitation duration rises to 42 days.
Our experienced child custody attorney in Richmond and Katy, TX will assist you throughout the proceedings and support fighting for your child’s custody and visitation rights. Schedule a consultation with our Texas family law firm today!
When a Texas court decides on child custody, it nearly usually mandates child support from the other parent (the”non-custodial parent”). Child support is typically paid until the child turns 18. If a child is impaired, the court may impose more child support.
Child Custody and Conservatorship Order Modification
It is necessary to petition the court to modify a conservatorship or possession and access order.
A Texas court will only approve a request to change an existing ruling in rare circumstances. If the adjustment is in the child’s best interest and the demand is based on one or more of the following:
- The conservator (typically one or both parents), or any person impacted by the order experienced significant changes in their situation since they signed the existing order or settlement agreement;
- The child is at least 12 years old and has told the court who they want to have the exclusive right to identify their primary home; or
- After six months, the conservator who has exclusive authority to choose the child’s main home has willingly surrendered primary care and custody of the child to another individual.
Speak with our Richmond Child Custody Attorney Today!
For every child custody case in Texas, you must establish the best interest of the child. At The Law Office of Annie Scott, we strive to get the best child custody and visitation agreement for you and your child.
We offer sympathetic legal advice to individuals going through an uncontested divorce, alimony, and child custody conflicts. And in court, we are unrelenting in our pursuit of your rights. Our experienced Richmond TX child custody attorney will assist you throughout the proceedings and support fighting for your child’s custody. Schedule a consultation with our Texas family law firm today!
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