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Rockwall Child Custody Attorney

Determining Child Custody in Texas

Child custody is much different in Texas than it is in other states. In Texas, legal custody is referred to as "conservatorship" and physical custody is referred to as possession of and access to a child. The courts make their decisions with the child's best interests in mind.

If you are unable to reach a resolution for custody and visitation during mediation, then you may need to enter into a custody lawsuit. These legal proceedings can be complex, and the Texas laws governing custody can be difficult to understand. Rely on my extensive trial experience and retain me as your Rockwall divorce lawyer if you enter into a custody lawsuit.

Serving the Best Interests of the Child

If a child of divorcing parents is over the age of 12, he or she may be allowed to decide which parent they would prefer to live with, at least for a majority of the custody arrangement. A judge will take into consideration multiple aspects of family life when determining a child custody case.

Factors that may affect a judge's decision include:

  • Any history of abuse
  • The health of the parents
  • The income of each of the parents
  • The relationships between the parents and child
  • The location where each parent lives

If granted custody of your child, you may have to comply with a court order that protects the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. If both parents still have rights to the child, they may have to discuss aspects of rearing the child, including schooling, medical care, and religion. Most Texas courts encourage the involvement of both parents in a child's life and issue court orders to have the child maintain contact with non-custodial parents. If you know that it is in your child's best interests to remain in your custody, you need to immediately work with a Rockwall divorce lawyer from the Law Offices of J. Cameron Cowan.

Types of conservatorship in TX

Conservatorship describes a parent's ability to make decisions for their child. The final court decision can be made in one of two ways – sole managing conservatorship or joint managing conservatorship.

  • Sole Managing Conservatorship – Only one parent is responsible for the decisions for their child. These decisions can include where the child lives, their education, and their medical care.
  • Joint Managing Conservatorship – Both parents make these decisions for the child together regarding where the child lives, their education, and their medical care.

Generally, the court tries to award joint managing conservatorship if at all possible. In most cases, this is best for the child and promotes healthier relationships in the family. However, if there is a history of family violence, drug use, or neglect, sole conservatorship may become the better choice.

What does physical custody look like in Texas?

Physical custody is usually arranged with a standard possession order. This refers to a visitation schedule and can be created by both parents or by the court. A standard possession order dictates the time a child will spend with either parent.

Similar to conservatorship, the court begins with the assumption that a family will benefit from shared custody. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case and one parent might get more time with their child due to certain circumstances.

Modifications to Custody Orders

Modifications to custody arrangements can be difficult to obtain and require additional legal actions, which is why it is important to enlist the help of my firm so that you can be granted the best outcome prior to the completion of the court order. When you work with my firm, I can help you argue your case and prove that you are the right choice for custody of your child. Non-custodial parents may still be required to pay child support, even if they only see the child on a limited basis.

At the Law Offices of J. Cameron Cowan, I can make sure that your child's best interests are kept in mind and that you receive a favorable outcome for your custody case. It is important that you contact my firm right away and schedule your free 30-minute evaluation with a child custody attorney now.

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