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What is full custody?

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offer free of charge consultations to any person in our community, across Texas or throughout the rest of the world who are interested in learning about Texas family law. Most of the time, the people that we talked to in these consultations are planning on filing a family law case or have recently had one filed against him or her. With that in mind we do Our best to answer questions honestly and thoughtfully while providing basic resources to learn more about the law and our practice of it. This is how we are able to provide information and help our community to learn about the services that we provide to our clients. 

It happens regularly that we are asked questions about specific areas of family law. When it comes to questions regarding children and children's issues in divorce and child custody cases one of the questions that we are asked is what did judge the most likely to decide when it comes to custody for a particular persons case. That person will spend some amount of time going through a lengthy review of their circumstances and then ask our attorney about what is likely to happen in a trial scenario. It may be that we are the first attorney or law office that this person is ever spoken to in order to get a professional opinion on their particular situation. 

When our attorneys provide a response to the question the answer, we get from the potential client of our office is that he or she would like to have full custody of their child after the divorce or child custody cases come to a close. Now, full custody is a term that is not utilized once in the Texas family code. More than that, the term custody isn't even used in the family code. Custody is a general term utilized by the public and attorneys alike to describe issues related to a whole host of topics in the area of Texas family log related to children. 

Full custody must be something that people discuss quite a bit in relation to family law cases because persons from all walks of life and backgrounds tend to use this term when it comes to conservatorships in custody issues. While different people may mean different things that we use the term full custody the connotation is that the person saying that he or she wants full custody of their child typically desires to have that child live with him or her full time, have child support paid to him or her and have most of the decision-making ability in relation to that child's best interests. 

Whether or not there are particular ideas about focus city relate to anything regarding how much time the other parent should have with the child is a different question. However, full custody is the desired outcome of many parents who go through child custody and divorce cases in Texas. In today's blog post I would like to discuss what I think most people mean when they say full custody and more about the specifics of what full custody means in connection with a Texas divorce or child custody case. 

Start to think about what you mean when you say full custody 

When you are talking about your friends child custody or divorce case it is OK to be general when you utilize terms associated with Texas family law cases. It's OK to do this because you are likely not getting into the nitty gritty details of their case and you have no need to be specific or exact with your terminology. If you have never gone through a case like this then you are probably relying upon your friends vocabulary when you even talk about the subject. However, this needs to change once you become involved in your own child custody or divorce case. 

The reason why this needs to change is due to the fact that people who go into child custody or divorce cases without a plan very rarely end up with a result in their case that is to their liking. You need to be intentional and exact with creating goals for yourself in your case and then even more intentional about how you set off to achieve those goals. The people who struggle in their family law cases do so because they rely mainly on the experience of their attorney to achieve success in the case and have no basic understanding of the family law process. While your attorney should be taking the lead on educating you about the process and should be helping you through the decision-making steps you are primarily responsible for your case and not your attorney. 

Therefore, if you come into our law office and begin to discuss full custody you should do so with the understanding that ultimately you need to determine what full custody means for you and your family based on your specific circumstances. Once you have a basic understanding of what you want to achieve in your case you will be better position 2 make decisions that are in the best interest of your family. Before then, you will merely be regurgitating information and terminology that you have heard from other people without having a real understanding of how those topics can impact your life and that of your children in the future. 

I think this discussion needs to begin with and understanding that you need to determine what sort of custody scenarios you would like to see implemented for you and your family at the conclusion of your family law case. For instance, do you want to be named as the parent who has the primary right to designate the residents every child? If so, how are you going to prove to a judge that you are best suited to have this right? What have you done so far and your parenting history to show that you are in a better position than your opposing parent to be named as the primary conservator of your children? Have you done anything to show over the course of time that this is true? These are relevant questions for you to ask yourself as you stare down the barrel of a child custody or divorce case. 

Once you have answered these questions then you can determine whether or not you are even in a position to ask for primary conservative rights to your children. Do not let your ego or pride get in the way of making a decision for your children that is in their best interests. I have seen my fair share of parents attempt to win primary conservative shipwrights of their child in family law cases for no other reason than they do not want their opposing parent to have that right. This is not a great reason to push for primary conservatorships rights or full custody as many people call it. 

If you do believe that You are well positioned to be named the primary conservator for children and do believe that it is in your child 's best interests for you to be named as such then you should take steps to go in that direction. How are you going to present evidence and structure your case to win this designation? Do you have evidence of your being at home with the kids and having had taken care of their daily needs on a frequent basis? What sort of successes can you point to for your children when I come see your involvement in their daily lives? Do you cook for them? Do you sit with them and do their homework? Are you the active and involved parent that you believe that you are? These are the serious questions you need to ask yourself. 

Full custody should also involve thoughts about being able to make decisions on behalf of your child. For instance, you should not think about full custody just having to do with time and possession issues. You also need to think about full custody in regard to issues related to the ability to make decisions on behalf of your child and the responsibilities associated with holding full custody rights. Why do you believe that your child is best suited to live with you primarily? Do you have a work schedule that lends itself towards flexibility in the ability to be with your child more often than not? 

Another important aspect of this conversation is that you need to determine which parent, you or your opposing parents have more often fill the shoes of a primary conservator during your lives to this point. If you have very rarely taking the lead on parenting responsibilities associated with your children, then it is going to be tougher for you to argue then you should be named the primary conservator of your children in a divorce for child custody case. This does not mean that you will lose any rights associated with parenting your children, but it does mean that you are less likely to be named as the parent who has the primary right to determine the residence of your children. 

Be prepared to negotiate with your opposing parent on this topic 

Another thing that I've learned from speaking to parents who are contemplating a new family law case is that most people believe that their case will be decided by a judge. I don't blame these folks for thinking this way. Television and movies lead us to believe that judges play a central role in every aspect other family lodges. What's more, television and movies tend to have us believe that there is one event in a family law case: the trial. Everything must come down to a dramatic and emotional divorce or child custody trial that will determine custody rights. 

In the real world, this could not be further from the truth. While your child custody or divorce case may involve a trial, it is unlikely that it would. The vast majority of divorce and child custody cases are settled in mediation rather than determined by a judge after a trial. What this means is that you need to be comfortable and willing to negotiate on custody issues with your opposing party. You all are going to be sharing custody rights and it only makes sense to negotiate with those rights in mind during mediation. 

So, if you have it in your mind that you are not going to bend on any issue associated with custody then you likely would find that a trial is in your future. The fact of the matter is that mediation requires both sides to bend a little bit here and there in order to reach conclusions that are in the best interest of your children. If you are unwilling to bend on a particular issue and if your opposing party believes it to be very important it is likely that issue will lead you all to a trial. That isn't the end of the world by any means, but it does mean additional cost in time associated with your child custody or divorce case.

On the other hand, if you are willing to negotiate through difficult issues in your custody case then you will be well on your way to establishing hey good co-parenting relationship with their opposing parent Ann are more likely to settle upon custody division that is in the best interest of your child. Keep in mind that a judge is not as well suited to make decisions in regard to your family 1 compared to you and your co-parent. Nobody knows your family and your child as well as the two of you do. Rely upon this expertise and you all will be well served to work your way through the important issues regarding child custody in your own case.

Questions about the material presented 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 consultations six days a week in person, over the phone in via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about Texas family law and the services that our law office provides to our clients. 


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