Parents in Texas have specific rights regarding their children when it comes to raising them. More specifically, parents in Texas have rights and duties to raise a child in Texas. These rights and responsibilities are enumerated within the Texas family code and relate to providing your child with the essentials of life and making decisions on behalf of your children regarding medical and educational issues, most specifically. Whether you are a married parent, a single parent, or anything in between, you have the same rights as any other parent about your children.
Once you become involved in a Texas child custody case within the family courts, this changes slightly. What changes is that, at the end of your case, you will have a court order which specifically spells out the rights and duties that you have about your child. This is what custody means. More specifically, this is what conservatorship is in Texas. The word custody does not appear in the Texas family code even one time. As a result, people tend to use the word custody in a place of the word conservatorships. I think this has a lot to do with conservatorships being a bulky term to use in custody rolls off the tongue a little easier.
Child custody cases can be both standalone cases as well as portions of a divorce. Whether yours will be a divorce or child custody case does not matter. The issues decided in either will be the same about your kids. You will be sharing rights and duties with a coherent after the conclusion of your case. You will also be sharing time with your children with that same co-parent. With issues like this to be decided within the context of your child custody case, you must have a plan going into the case and know how to assert your rights.
In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to take some time to talk with you about how you can plan for a child custody case, assert your rights, and what you should be aware of if you are a father who was heading into a divorce or child custody case. No2 child custody cases are the same. Still, I can tell you from experience that many people who go through child custody cases experience many of the same problems and can utilize the same methods and solutions to overcome those problems. That is what I would like to share with you all today.
Planning for a child custody case in Texas
Before you begin any child custody case, you need to be aware of what is at stake. The relationship that you have with your child is the essential aspect of a child custody case. The issues that are decided within the case will go a long way towards determining the type of relationship you can have with your child both in the present and future. Therefore, you must learn about the issues inherent in any child custody case and develop a plan to attack those issues. Again, it would help if you were intentional when it comes to achieving these goals. As I will often tell people, you can wander into a child custody case, but you cannot walk out of one period. You need to have a plan and stick to that plan throughout the case.
Being a parent after a child custody case means you will be splitting time for your child with a co-parent. Therefore, you need to be aware at the beginning of her case what sort of possession schedule you want to see be the result of your child custody case. For instance, do you want to be the parent who has the right to determine your children's primary residence? If so, you should consider the following bits of information as you chart your course and work with the attorney to develop a plan to see that come into being.
The pair with the right to determine your children's primary residence should be well-positioned to request this right. I mean by that, if you have never taken an active role in parenting a child and the other parent has been the primary caretaker for your children over many years, then you probably don't have much of a leg to stand on when making this request.
Sometimes you will see parents, who to that point have shown little interest in parenting their children, request to be named primary conservator to avoid having to pay child custody. While it is true that a primary conservator can receive child support rather than pay child support, this is not a good reason to request being named primary conservator. The simple truth is that the other parent would likely never agree to it. Anna's judge would be doubtful to award you this right in the trial. Therefore, it will be silly to spend the time, money, and effort to be named primary conservator if your track record as a parent is not excellent.
If you are the parent with you in the children who do not reside primarily, you will have a visitation schedule decided in your case. The Visitation schedule will likely track what is called a standard possession order. The legal possession order in Texas means that a parent will have the right to possess her children on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month in addition to Holidays during the year and a long time during the summer. While many parents look at not being named a primary conservator as a loss, you should know that the Visitation splits and time breakdown between parents called the possessory conservator is closer to a 50/50 split, you might think.
Another critical thing to note is that it is unlikely that you in your co-parent will ever go before a judge in your child custody or divorce case. In actuality, you all can expect to negotiate with one another on issues related to charging and, therefore, will have direct control over what your final orders say. This is all the more reason to learn about what options you have so that you and your Co-parent can create a tailor-made plan for your family. Many parents can negotiate situations where custody is split directly down the middle, and parents tend to share time with their children almost entirely.
As far as asserting your rights as a parent is concerned, you do not need to worry about losing all your time with your child in most any child custody circumstance. I will often speak to a potential client of our office who a spouse or Co-parent has told that they will do everything they can to make sure that our potential client does not get any time with their children. Unless extreme circumstances are employees, such as abuse, neglect, drug use, or something similar, this almost certainly will not happen. You do not need to go into your custody case from the position of thinking that anytime you get with your children is better than nothing. The law presumes that your child is better off having substantial contact with you, so do not think that you have an uphill battle to fight in this regard.
Custody rights and duties about your child
The other key aspect of a custody case is making decisions for your child, providing for your child, and co-parent. Parents can make decisions regarding a host of different subjects in their child's life, specifically regarding education and medical decisions. The types of classes your child should be enrolled in, the medical treatment they receive (or don't receive), And everything in between are covered under conservatorship rights.
The main task at hand within a child custody case for you and your co-parent is to divide up these rights between the two of you. Many of these rights will be held in conjunction with your co-parent. This means that neither of you can make decisions on many subjects by yourselves but will have to confer and negotiate and talk through the issues with the Co-parent. This allows your child to get perspective from both of their parents when raising your child. Other times, you will have the exclusive right to make certain decisions, and we'll have independent rights to make decisions for your child, such as in emergency medical situations.
In your particular circumstances, do you need to take an assessment of your child's situation and determine if one parent or the other is better suited to hold a specific right about that child? For example, if your wife has always been the person who has taken charge of your son's education due to his special needs and is very knowledgeable, Anne has shown a track record of making good decisions in this regard that you may want to defer to her as far as having final say on his future educational needs.
Either way, it is truly a balancing act when making decisions on behalf of your child. The same can be said in the duties you have in raising a child. Both you and your co-parent have a responsibility to provide the essentials of food, shelter, clothing, and primary education for your child. How you balance these rights and obligations depends on your circumstances and what you negotiate for in your child custody case.
Asserting your rights as a father in Texas
Fathers will more typically than mothers go into a child custody case from a defensive position. The point I made earlier about wanting to have some time with your kids after a divorce or child custody case is a hallmark of how many fathers approached the case. Essentially, if you as a father of where to take this position, it would mean that you are at best playing for second fiddle in your child's life. What led suggest you do ist what rights you do have to your child and never to light that your child needs you in their life just as much as their mother.
The Texas family code and Texas family court judges do not presume that mothers are better suited to be primary parents to their children or hold special rights when decision-making. Fathers tend to believe that the law favors mothers who want it indeed do not. The problem that the father is running to is that they assume that they have to play second fiddle and negotiate from this perspective from the start. As a father, you have a duty to your child to assert your rights so that your relationship with them is not Harmed.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. We take a great deal of pride in serving our community and looking forward to discussing our law office's services to you in your family. Please join us again tomorrow as we continue to share more unique and relevant information about the world of Texas family law on our blog.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
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- Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
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- Are Dads at a Disadvantage when trying to win 50/50 custody in a Texas Divorce?
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- Help!! My Ex-Spouse Kidnapped my Child
- How Much Will My Texas Child Custody Case Cost?
- When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?"
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Custody Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it's essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, child custody lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our child custody lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles child custody cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.