Child Custody A Family Law Firm You Can Trust

Pearland Child Custody Attorney

Serving Residents of Harris County & the Surrounding Areas

Child custody cases can be emotional, difficult, and heart-breaking. From completing the divorce process to establishing paternity disputes over who gets custody or possession of the children are common in nearly every family law case. Child custody cases can even continue throughout a child’s life, if one of the parents decides to seek modification or if an agency of the State gets involved with the children.

No matter the custody case, the overriding concern of the courts will always be to do what is in the best interest of the child. However, making these decisions is never simple or clear-cut. The Pearland child custody attorneys at The Dieye Firm can help you effectively resolve this legal conflict.

For detailed information on how we can contribute to your case, call our office at (832) 299-1990 today. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a Pearland child custody lawyer.

Legal Custody

Referred to in Texas as conservatorship, legal custody determines who has the right to make certain decisions for the child. The default presumption in court is that the children will best be served when both parents are fully involved in raising their children. Both parties are generally expected to co-parent and make decisions together for the benefit of the children.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • educational decisions
  • medical treatment decisions
  • extracurricular activity decisions

Sometimes, the courts in Pearland will determine this joint decision-making is not in the best interest of the child and award those decisions to one parent.

Physical Custody

Texas does not really distinguish between physical custody and legal custody, but it does emphasize the rights of parents to have possession and access to their children. The custodial parent is the parent who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child. This means that the child will be at this parent’s house most of the time.

The other parent, called the non-custodial parent, will have visitation as agreed or according to a schedule set out in the Texas family Code, often referred to as a Standard Possession Order (SPO). Texas law encourages parents to work together and agree on the times each party can have possession and access to the children.

Understanding Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody in Texas

When it comes to child custody arrangements, it's important to understand the difference between joint custody and sole custody.

  • Joint custody involves both parents sharing the legal and/or physical custody of the child
  • Sole custody grants one parent full responsibility for the child's care and decision-making

Our experienced Pearland child custody lawyers can guide the advantages and disadvantages of each custody arrangement, as well as help you navigate the legal process to determine the best custody arrangement for your family's unique situation.

Factors to consider when determining joint custody vs. sole custody include:

  • Child's best interests
  • Parent's ability to provide a stable environment
  • Co-parenting relationship
  • Child's wishes (if age-appropriate)

For personalized legal advice and representation in your child custody case, contact our Pearland child custody attorney to schedule a consultation.

Factors Considered in Determining Custody in Pearland, Texas

What is in the best interest of the child is the primary question the court will consider in deciding custody issues. The Texas Supreme Court outlined several factors for the court to consider in deciding child custody issues.

The 1976 case of Holley v. Adams offers guidance for the court and some of the factors are:

  • The desires of the child
  • The emotional and physical needs of the child at present, and in the future
  • Any danger to the child at present, or in the future
  • The parental abilities of the parties who are requesting custody
  • Programs available to assist the parties in promoting the best interests of the child
  • Plans for the child by the party requesting custody
  • The stability of the parties’ homes
  • Acts or omissions of a parent which might indicate an improper relationship with the child

Since this list is non-exhaustive, it won’t explicitly dictate what decisions will be reached in a case. Generally, courts decide child custody issues by looking at several factors including which parent acted as the “primary caregiver.”

Questions for the court include the following:

  • Arranging and attending doctor’s appointments,
  • Transporting the child to and from school or extracurricular activities,
  • Bathing the child, feeding the child,
  • And all other general day-to-day tasks required to raise the child

Depending on the age of the child and at the request of a parent, the court may question a child to determine that child’s preference although that preference is not binding on the court. Their preference is merely considered as another factor in the overall determination of custody.

What Makes a Parent Unfit for Custody in Texas?

In Texas, a parent can be found unfit for custody if they have a history of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse. They may also be found unfit if they cannot provide for the child's basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

Here are some specific examples of what could make a parent unfit for custody in Texas:

  • Abuse: This includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
  • Neglect: This includes failing to provide for the child's basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. It also includes failing to provide the child with love, attention, and emotional support.
  • Substance abuse: This includes drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Mental illness: This includes a mental illness that prevents the parent from providing for the child's needs.
  • Criminal history: This includes a history of domestic violence, child abuse, or other crimes that could put the child at risk.
  • Unstable living conditions: This includes living in an unsafe or unhealthy home.

If you are concerned that a parent may be unfit for custody, you should speak with an experienced child custody attorney. A custody lawyer in Pearland can help you understand the law and represent you in a Texas courthouse if necessary.

Creating a Parenting Plan for Child Custody

When it comes to child custody cases, having a well-thought-out parenting plan is essential to ensure the best interests of the children involved. Our experienced family law lawyers in Pearland can help you create a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses important aspects of custody and visitation.

Key elements of a parenting plan may include:

  • Schedules for physical custody and visitation
  • Decision-making authority for legal custody
  • Communication guidelines between parents
  • Methods for resolving disputes or conflicts
  • Provisions for holidays, vacations, and special occasions

By working with our dedicated child custody attorneys, you can develop a parenting plan that promotes stability, consistency, and cooperation for the benefit of your children.

Our Family Law Lawyers in Pearland Can Help with Your Child Custody Case

At The Dieye Firm, our Pearland child custody lawyers know what a court is looking for when it is determining custody issues in Texas. Our lawyers can help you build your case, provide advice, and advocate for your right to custody, possession, and access to your child.

For your initial consultation with a Pearland child custody lawyer, call our law office at (832) 299-1990 or complete our online contact form.

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