Arlington, TX Child Custody Lawyer
Fighting over the custody of a beloved child can be one of the most emotionally draining experiences a parent will face. It is often very difficult to think clearly when your future as a parent to your child is on the line. You are sure to be facing a wide range of emotions, from fear, to anxiety, to sadness, to anger. However, it is vitally important that you keep your cool and do not lose focus on what is important: that your child ends up at home with you where they belong.
At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., our team of experienced Arlington, TX child custody lawyers knows the complex laws that underlie these cases like the back of our hands. For years, we have successfully fought in the Arlington courts for our clients to be granted the type of custody of their children that they desire. We understand how hard this time might be for you, and we are here to answer all of you questions and guide you through every step of the process. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 for a free consultation.
Types of Custody Agreements in Arlington, TX
In Texas, child custody is actually referred to by the term “conservatorship.” There are three major types of conservatorships granted in Texas. The first, and perhaps most common, is a joint managing conservatorship. This means that both parents will have equal say in decisions involving the child. While one parent’s home will typically serve as the primary physical residence of the child, the child will spend time residing with both parents.
Conversely, a sole managing conservatorship occurs when only one parent is given the right to make basic life decisions on behalf of the child. Such decisions might include where the child goes to school, what type of medical or psychological treatment the child receives, what type of extracurricular activities the child participates in, and the granting of parental consent needed for marriage, military enlistment, or other such things. A parent will a sole managing conservatorship will also have physical custody of the child.
The final type of conservatorship is possessory conservatorship. A parent with a possessory conservatorship will not have the right to make basic life decisions regarding the child, which will be left up to the parent with the sole managing conservatorship. Contrary to its name, the parent with a possessory conservatorship also does not have possession of the child in terms of the child’s primary residence. Rather, a parent with a possessory conservatorship will only have visitation rights with the child, typically on a court-ordered schedule.
How Child Custody is Decided in Arlington, Texas
The basic standard used to determine child custody by the Texas courts is the “best interests of the child” standard. This means that at all times, the best interests of the child will be the foremost consideration in deciding whether to grant a joint conservatorship, which parent gets primary physical custody, and how much visitation time is granted to and child support is required from the secondary parent.
The following are some of the issues taken into consideration when deciding the best interests of the child in custody cases:
- The wishes of the child, especially when the child is 12 or older
- Current and future emotional and physical needs of the child and whether each parent has the resources and skills to meet them
- Each parent’s parenting capability
- Each parent’s plan for raising and providing for the child
- The stability of the proposed home
- Acts such a domestic violence or physical or emotional abuse that might indicate one parent is not fit to raise the child
The Texas courts have expressed a preference for joint managing conservatorships when possible. The court will decide if a joint managing conservatorship is appropriate based on the demonstrated ability of the parents to work together for the best interests of the child, whether each parent can encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, the respective parents’ role and level of involvement in raising the child thus far, and the child’s own wishes, if they are older than 12.
At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys know how to fight for you to be given a joint or sole managing conservatorship so that you have a say in major life decision’s involving your child. We know what judges are looking to hear and can prep you so that your background and current home life are presented to the court in the best possible light.
Primary Physical Custody and Child Support in Arlington, TX
Typically, even in the case of a joint managing conservatorship, one parent will be granted primary physical custody of the child, meaning that parent’s home will serve as the primary physical home for the child. This is decided by which parent has been the primary caretaker for the child up to this point, each parent’s financial situation and the stability of home life, and the child’s wishes, if the child is older than 12.
Often, whichever parent has primary physical custody will be owed child support by the other parent, even if it is a joint managing conservatorship. Child support is determined based on each parent’s financial situation and how much the primary caretaker is contributing to everyday expenses such as the child’s food, clothing, etc. If the child has special needs, these will also be taken into account. Our Arlington, TX child custody lawyers know how to fight for you to receive the support money you are owed if you are the primary physical caretaker. If you are the parent paying child support, we can make sure you are not paying more than you owe and that the money you pay is actually going to the child’s living expenses and not to the other parent.
If You Need a Child Custody Lawyer, Call Our Experienced Arlington, Texas Attorneys Today
Child custody battles can be extremely draining. While it is sometimes the case that parents can work out these issues among themselves, oftentimes what starts as a cooperative process can descend into a bitter battle. This is why it is vital that you have an experienced Arlington, TX child custody lawyer fighting for your rights inside and outside of the courtroom. Our attorneys will be your advocates and your advisers through this trying time. For a free consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.