Lewisville Child Custody Attorneys
Child Custody Law
The challenges of a divorce can last long after the actual process is complete, especially when children are involved. Even when family matters turn into legal disputes, it's important to keep a positive mind and focus on the possible solutions.
With emotions running high before, during, and after divorce, many parents find it helpful to have a skilled lawyer on their side who can provide moral support and legal guidance. At Steele Law, P.C., our legal team is committed to putting the best interests of our clients and their children first. To find out more about your legal rights and options for your child custody case, please call (214) 333-HELP to speak to a family law attorney.
Details on Custody
The individual who is granted primary care, custody, and control of the child or children is commonly referred to as the custodial parent. In Texas, the law refers to the custodial parent as the “managing conservator.” A noncustodial parent is not given primary care, custody, or control of the child, and is obligated to pay child support. Texas refers to the non-custodial parent as the “possessory conservator.” A custody order determines who the child or children will live with. The State of Texas encourages the involvement of both parents in their children's lives, including the children's extended family, social, and school activities. Both parents are expected to provide for the children, regardless of which parent has primary custody.
How is Custody Established?
Texas Code Sec. 153.002 establishes that the best interest of the children will always be the main concern of the court in determining the issues of child custody and visitation. The public policy of the State of Texas in matters of child custody includes:
- Children are to have regular and ongoing contact with parents who have displayed the capacity to act in the best interest of the child
- The environment for the child is expected to be stable, safe, and free of violence
- Parents are encouraged to share the rights and responsibilities of raising their child even after the parents separate or dissolve their marriage
Joint Managing Conservatorship
Joint custody in Lewisville is referred to as joint managing conservatorship. Joint managing conservatorship is favored in Texas and is presumed to be in the child's best interests. Joint managing conservatorship describes a custody arrangement in which both parents share the rights and responsibilities for the child or children's physical care, support, education, daily routine, and interaction with friends. Parents who are first considering their options in a custody situation often find this terminology confusing and are surprised to learn that parents in a joint managing conservatorship are not provided equal or almost equal periods of physical possession of and access to the child.
In a joint custody arrangement, a parenting plan is created, and it must conform to the following:
- Be in the best interest of the child or children
- Designatewhich parent has the right to select the main residence of the child
- Determine the geographic location where the parent will keep the child's primary residence or declare that the primary residence is not limited to a geographical location
- Detail the rights and responsibilities of each parent regarding the child's physical care, support and education
- Include provisions to minimize the disruption of the child's daily routine, education, and association with friends
- Specify whether all remaining rights and responsibilities of the parents are to be exercised jointly, independently, or exclusively
Sole Managing Conservatorship
Sole custody is referred to as sole managing conservatorship in Texas. When one parent is awarded sole custody of their child, the parent is given primary custody of the child, as well as the exclusive right to make many of the important child rearing decisions, such as those concerning the child's education, psychological care and invasive medical care. Having sole custody of the child does not necessarily mean that the other parent will have less visitation privileges than under a joint custody arrangement. When deciding child custody, a history of domestic violence or sexual abuse will be examined to determine what care and living arrangement is best for the children. If one parent is deemed as unfit for sharing child custody, sole custody may be awarded to the other parent. However, it's possible for one parent to have sole legal custody and both parents to have joint physical custody of their children, meaning that both parents will continue to have periods of possession, or "visitation" with the children. In addition, one parent may be awarded sole physical custody and the other parent may be granted supervised visitation.
Your Family is Important to Us
Lewisville family law lawyer Dina Steele is dedicated to helping parents resolve custody and visitation disputes while upholding their moral values and integrity. Child custody disputes are often the most intense of family law battles and they always involve a great deal of emotion for both the parents and the children. Nonetheless, there are times when these battles are necessary to best protect your children. In these situations, Steele Law can provide the guidance necessary to make the process as smooth as possible. Contact Steele Law, P.C. today for more information.