What Determines Child Custody in Texas?
When it comes to our children, we all want what’s best for them. Divorce and other legal proceedings that affect child custody can make it difficult to land on the right decision. There can be hurt feelings and negative emotions when parents split up, and it’s often the children who can suffer the most. With the help of a child custody lawyer in Tyler, TX, you can rest assured that your child’s best interests are being protected. While there’s a lot that can contribute to determining child custody, your attorney will fight to defend your rights as a parent while ensuring your children are happy and healthy.
Types of Child Custody in Texas
Determining child custody falls into two categories: conservatorship and possession and access. Conservatorship determines who has legal rights and responsibilities of the child and is able to make decisions regarding their education, health, lifestyle, religion, etc. Possession and access, on the other hand, determine who has visitation or physical custody rights.
There are two types of conservatorships in child custody cases: joint and sole. Joint managing conservatorship is what parents have when actively married. Both parents have equal legal rights in determining what happens to their children and how they raise them. In some divorce cases, parents may maintain this level of conservatorship, especially if they are sharing 50/50 possession and access. In most cases, however, sole managing conservatorship is awarded to the parent with whom the child will spend the majority of their time.
Possession and Access
Even if one parent has sole managing conservatorship, the other parent can still retain visitation and custody rights. This is what can be argued over the most in many child custody cases. Possession and access can have varying agreements depending on the parents’ living situation and the best interests of the children. Sometimes visitation is only awarded with observation, meaning the child and parent cannot be alone together. Other times, parents are awarded partial or half custody rights, having the child live with them during designated times of the year. Common custody agreements see the children living with one parent full-time and living with the other on weekends or during extended school breaks.
How Does a Child Custody Lawyer in Tyler Determine Custody?
There are many factors that go into determining both conservatorship and possession and access. The most commonly considered factors in a child custody case include:
- Each parent’s financial situation
- The relationship the child shares with each parent
- The history of each parent’s contact with the child
- Where each parent lives and their proximity to one another
- Each parent’s physical and emotional health
- The child’s health, safety, and welfare
- Any history of child abuse, domestic violence, or neglect
A judge in a child custody case will hear testimony and accept evidence from both sides to determine which arrangement is best for the child. Having a child custody lawyer with you can help ensure your rights are protected while your child is well taken care of.
Do Children Have a Say in Child Custody Cases?
Most of the time, courts don’t consider a child’s opinion on custody. Children, especially those younger in age, don’t always understand what is going on and can’t make rational decisions based on their well-being. Texas allows a child to confer with the judge if they are twelve years old.
Can Child Custody Agreements Change?
Courts set child custody agreements until the child reaches legal age. However, there are instances where a child custody agreement can be altered. Discuss this with your child custody lawyer in Tyler, TX. Some examples of cases when you can adjust your agreement include:
- Stepparent adoption
- One parent moving out of state
- Any instance of domestic violence
- Extreme financial change in one parent’s situation
When a living or financial situation changes, it’s often a good time to take a look at the child custody agreement. This way, you can make any necessary adjustments to help your children stay safe and stable.
Need a Child Custody Lawyer in Tyler, TX?
At the Hager Law Firm, we believe that your children come first in any child custody case. When you hire a child custody lawyer in Tyler, TX, you’re hiring an attorney who will fight to defend your child’s safety and well-being. Our years of experience dealing with child custody laws in Texas allow us to help you and your ex find the best solution possible for your children. Call us today at (903) 466-0001 to schedule a consultation about your case.