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 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.
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 will determine this joint decision-making is not in the best interest of the child and award those decisions to one parent.
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.
Factors Considered in Determining Custody
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 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 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.
We 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. We can help you build your case, provide advice, and advocate for your right to custody, possession, and access to your child.
When I needed a lawyer - he was the only person that I called.- Sharmain
Professional, personable, and readily available for any questions or concerns.- Kim
I would definitely recommend him to friends and family.- Osmin
I can't express how grateful I am to have come across this firm.- Former Client
The man deals with facts and does not stand on shaky grounds.- Larry