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Compassionate Lawyer Helping People With Custody Disputes

When a couple that has a child together decides to end their relationship, one of their primary concerns is typically how custody of the child will be divided. While some co-parents have an amicable relationship and readily agree on how to share custody of their child, in many cases, disputes over parental rights and obligations are contentious and lead to protracted litigation.

If you are in the process of determining custody of your child, it is advisable to contact an attorney to discuss what measures you can take to protect your interests. The assertive San Antonio child custody lawyers of Parra Law Firm, PLLC are adept at handling disputes over child custody in Texas, and if you engage our services, we will work diligently to help you pursue an arrangement that is beneficial for your child and enables you to protect your parental rights.

Factors Evaluated In Determining Child Custody

Typically, when co-parents cannot agree regarding how custody of their child should be divided, they will ask the courts to establish their rights and duties. In Texas child custody cases, the court’s primary concern is what is in the child’s best interest.

Courts evaluate multiple factors to assess what is in the best interest of a child, including the physical, educational, and emotional needs of the child and which parent is better equipped to meet those needs, the health of the parents and the child, and which parent historically acted as the primary caretaker for the child.

They will also look at whether the child has a sibling in either parent’s household or whether either parent or anyone they live with has a history of domestic abuse. The courts are not permitted to consider either parent’s sex, however. In other words, neither mothers nor fathers are treated more favorably with regard to custody matters solely because of their gender.

Conservatorship or Legal Child Custody

The term the Texas courts use for legal custody of a child is conservatorship. Conservatorship of a child is the right to make critical decisions regarding their upbringing, like where they will live or go to school, what education or medical treatment they will receive, and what religious practices they will observe.

Under Texas law, there is a rebuttable presumption that appointing both parents as joint managing conservators is in a child’s best interests. In some instances, though, the courts will appoint one parent to be the sole managing conservator of a child. If a court appoints parents as joint managing conservators, they can submit a parenting plan.

The court will only approve the plan if it defines each parent’s duties and privileges, states which parent has the right to choose the child’s primary residence, and is in the child’s best interest. In cases in which the parents do not provide the court with a parenting plan, the court will issue an order assigning parental obligations and rights and dictating which parent gets to choose the child’s primary residence.

Possession and Access

Possession and access is the phrase Texas uses to refer to physical custody of a child. In most instances, the parent granted the right to determine the child’s principal residence, or the primary joint managing conservator, is referred to as the custodial parent while the other parent is deemed the possessory conservator.

The courts will generally grant parents joint physical custody of a child, and in many cases, the possessory conservator has the same possession and access rights as the primary joint managing conservator, regardless of where the child lives.

How Child Custody And Child Support Work In Our State

In many cases, however, a couple will not agree on how custody should be divided or whether child support is necessary. In Texas, conservatorship is the word used to describe legal custody. In any dispute over custody in Texas, the courts’ primary concern is the child’s best interest. The courts will weigh multiple factors in determining what custody arrangement is best for a child, including the health of both parents and the child, which parent acted as the primary caretaker for the child prior to the divorce, each parent’s resources, and the child’s needs. Typically, the courts will find it to be in a child’s best interest for the parents to be named joint conservators, which means they can both make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and care, but in some cases, one parent will be named the sole conservator.

Under Texas law, all parents have a duty to provide financial support for their children. When a couple with children divorces, it is not uncommon for one parent to be ordered to pay the other child support. The courts apply guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of support. The guidelines set forth recommendations based on the monthly income and resources of the parent obligated to pay support and the number of children being supported. The courts have the authority to deviate from the guidelines, however, if it is warranted under the circumstances.

Confer With A Trusted Attorney About Your Case

Most parents want what is best for their child, but co-parents often disagree as to what custody arrangement will be most beneficial for their children. If you have questions regarding child custody in Texas, it is advisable to confer with an attorney to discuss what you can do to protect your relationship with your child.

Our committed lawyers are adept at helping parents navigate the complexities of child custody cases, and if we represents you, we will zealously pursue a custody arrangement that meets your child’s needs. We have an office in San Antonio, and we regularly represent people in child custody matters in San Antonio and in nearby areas. You can reach us via the form online or at 210-960-8766 to set up a free and confidential meeting.