Experienced Child Custody Law Attorney Serving Denton County, Lewisville, Frisco and all of North Texas
Establishing a child custody arrangement may be one of the most difficult parts of a divorce.
More than ever before, parents form equal partnerships with each other in efforts to raise their children. Unlike the parents of yesteryear, it is currently very normal for both parents to actively share in just about all of the parenting duties. The last thing you may want to do to is give up some or all of your responsibilities as a parent.
If you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce or unmarried-parent custody papers, it is important to take all steps necessary in order to preserve your legal rights with respect to custody of your children.
As an experienced Denton County custody attorney, I have helped many parents reach their goals regarding custody and parenting arrangements. Let me help you and work to get you as much time as possible with your children.
Determining Child Custody and Visitation
In Texas, parents may be “awarded” two different types of custody of their children:
- Legal custody
- Parents with sole or shared legal custody of the children have decision-making control over the education, healthcare, and religious upbringing of their children, as well as over day-to-day matters such as extracurricular activities and chores.
- Physical custody
- The parent awarded the right to designate the primary residence of the children (i.e., the one who determines where the children will live) is often referred to as the “custodial” or “primary” parent, The other parent is referred to “noncustodial” or “nonprimary.”
While I strongly encourage and work with each of my clients to amicably reach a custody agreement with the other parent, there are some instances where agreement is unlikely or impossible. In these instances, and when the best interests of my clients and their children are in jeopardy, I do not hesitate to litigate the matter as aggressively as necessary.
Joint Custody Is Presumed to Be in Best Interests of Child(ren)
Unlike in the past, courts today no longer automatically presume that mothers should always be granted sole or primary legal and/or physical custody. Rather, the prevailing presumption is that joint custody is in the best interests of the child(ren) UNLESS there is some compelling reason as to why joint custody is not a good idea (such as a history of violence to the child and/or the other parent).
Currently, Texas courts frequently issue a standard order that grants the majority of parenting time to the primary parent, and visitation time (typically one night a week and the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend) to the non-primary parent.
The law, however, does not mandate courts to issue this type of parenting schedule; and deviations from the “normal schedule” are very common.
You need to know that you do not necessarily have to accept the role of “every other weekend parent”; nor do you have to accept the fact that your co-parent will automatically obtain 50/50 parenting time.
Let us help you create, draft, and fight for a parenting plan and custody arrangement that takes into consideration the best interests of your child.
Because above all else, the best interest of the child, is the guiding principle.
How Do Courts Decide What Is in the “Best Interest” of My Children?
When deciding child custody issues, Texas courts do not necessarily focus on the goals of one or both parents. The reality is that in many cases, parents and the court have very different opinions regarding what constitutes the children’s best interests. Before the court issues any custody order, it must determine whether the order takes into consideration the best interests of the children.
A list of factors the court will evaluate in this regard are as follows:
- The age of the children and parents
- Where the children go to school
- The particular needs of each child
- The children’s preferences (the court gives more weight to the opinion of older children)
- The ability of one or both parents to maintain the daily routine and schedule
- The physical condition of the children’s home
- The physical and mental health of the children and parents
- The relationship between each child and each parent
Contact an Experienced Denton Child Custody Lawyer Today
If you have children and are considering divorce – or if you are already in the midst of a divorce and/or a custody fight – it is imperative that you have an experienced child custody attorney at your side. I will help you find a solution through negotiation, mediation, arbitration – or if necessary – litigation. Additionally, I have crafted and drafted hundreds of successful parenting plans that include detailed specifics regarding custody, visitation, education, vacations, holidays, religion, and extracurricular activities.
Call me at (940) 465-9872 for a complimentary consultation. My office is in Denton and I serve clients throughout North Texas. Credit cards accepted. Payment plans available.