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An Overview of Child Custody Laws in Texas

Child custody cases are not only limited to situations in which you and your child's parent are not married. Rather, child custody matters related to divorces, as well. As such, you need to be aware of how these laws in this city of Texas will interact with your Emily or fan. The interesting thing that I find about child custody cases is that most of you who have an interest in these cases will come into a case with an opinion already formed about the circumstances that you find yourself in.

Unfortunately, many of those opinions are based upon information provided to you by friends and family who may be well-meaning but probably do not have a firm basis of knowledge with which to give advice. To that point, these folks will tell you information about child custody subjects that are not entirely true one way or the other. This will leave you with questions and oftentimes more of them than answers. However, that does not mean that you should completely disregard their advice. These folks are probably well-meaning and want to provide you with information to help you and your family. With that said, however, receiving information that is more likely to apply to you and your family would be preferable to receiving information that may be incorrect or at least biased towards circumstances that are not relevant to you and your children.

In today's blog post I would like to provide you with an overview of child custody laws in Texas. My goal will be to provide an analysis that is more 1000 miles wide than 1000 miles deep. I think this is a good course of action for us for several reasons. The first is one that we have already touched on. Mainly, the information that you truly need can only be provided to you by an experienced family law attorney in the context of your specific case period since I don't know your specific circumstances, I do not want to give specifically tailored advice here in this blog post.

Also, I want to provide information that applies to as many people as possible. Since child custody cases are notoriously fact-dependent providing you with specific information would wind up leaving many people out in the cold when it came to information about their circumstances. Therefore, let's reserve this space for general information and overview on child custody laws, and then You can rely upon the free of charge consultations from the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to provide you with specific information about your circumstances.

What does child custody refer to?

Before we get into any subject matter about child custody, we should first determine what child custody is. Undoubtedly, if you are on the blog for a family law attorney you are at least aware of what child custody might refer to. It has something to do with children. If you are going through a divorce but do not have children, then there is no need for you to read anything in today's blog post. Not every divorce has children but if your children are under the age of 18 then there will be a divorce ponent to the child custody circumstances that you are going through. People divorcing minor children should be interesting and the subject matter we discussed today.

Child custody tends to be a term that people use to tie together several different subjects related to children in a divorce or suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Even judges and attorneys tend to use custody as a catchall term to refer to these subjects. What we need to determine today is the extent to which test city issues may impact your life. To me, child custody cases break down into two different subjects.

The first subject is issues related to conservatorship. Conservatorship means rights and duties associated with your minor children. As a parent, you have the right to be able to have your children as well as make decisions on behalf of your children. Even if you do not ever go to family court this is still a case. My wife and I, despite never having officially gone to court to receive an order from a judge have these conservatorships rights to our children. This is true for you and every parent. The only difference is that once you go to family court those rights and duties will be assigned to you and your Co-parent in specific ways in writing after being signed by a judge.

The second major area that I think about when the subject of child custody comes up is possession in visitation. Even more on a basic level, possession and visitation have to do with being able to spend time with and physically have your children with you. At the beginning of custody, case parents are frequently most concerned with being able to have their kids. Losing time with your children can be one of the most disheartening aspects of a child custody case. The conservatorships rights and duties that I discussed with you a second ago are typically not as important to parents at least at the first period

With that said, conservatorships rights and duties are probably more important than time with your children. This is true if only because the key .2 time with your children can be found when discussing conservatorships. Since there is a relationship between time with your kids and conservatorships rights and duties I think that is where we need to begin our discussion today. What is conservatorship and what conservatorship rights impact the time you were able to spend with your children?

Conservatorship issues in a Texas child custody case

As we have already discussed, conservatorships deal with rights and duties that you and your Co-parent have about your children. Once a person is legally determined to be a parent to a child under the age of 18 that parent automatically is granted certain conservatorships rights and duties. Once you attend a child custody or divorce proceeding in Texas those rights and duties will be spelled out specifically and in detail in a final order on your case. Until then, both you and your Co-parent share equally in these rights and duties.

At their core, these rights and duties are not complicated. These rights would contain the rights to decide for your child regarding their health, safety, and education. The ability to raise your child in a certain religion or outside of a certain religion as well as the ability to make decisions for your child in connection with their health is part of the conservatorship rights that you and your Co-parent have. When we think about duties about you and your child those are duties like the duty to provide food, clothing, and shelter as well as education up to a certain point for your child. These are the sort of duties that every parent has regardless of whether they have ever gone to family court.

Despite these rights and duties being self-explanatory the difficult part of a child custody case comes concerning dividing the rights and duties up between you and your Co-parent. For instance, rights and duties could be held in three different ways: exclusively, independently, and cooperatively between parents. If you hold the exclusive right to make decisions for your child regarding health care questions, then only you can determine whether your child should have a tooth pulled or go through surgery for their hurt ankle. The independent right in this regard means that you can make decisions it's raining in these subjects for your child but so is your Co-parent. This usually coincides with who has your child now a decision needs to be made. Cooperative decision-making means that you and your Co-parent must agree concerning a course of action for your child to do or not do something.

And host Texas child custody cases, parents are named as joint managing conservators. Joint managing conservators share in a nearly equal fashion most conservatorships rights and duties no matter how much time you end up being able to spend with your child you will almost certainly have significant rights and duties concerning your child. This is the part that many parents disregard at the beginning of a child custody case. They are led to believe that if you do not have more time with your kids and your Co-parent then your child custody case was not a success for you. Ignoring that the purpose of a child custody case is to do what is best for your child and not necessarily for yourself this is still not true. Having the right to be able to make decisions that are important for your child is a critical part of parenting. Even if your Co-parent ends up being able to see your child more than you do that does not mean that you are not able to play a crucial role in your child's development. Do not lose sight of this as you begin your child custody case.

Many parents that go through child custody cases do not have strong feelings about pal conservatorship rights and duties are divided. These folks believe that they are Co-parent are well equipped its good decisions and always put the best interests of the child first period if this is not how you feel about your Co-parent then you may already see where I am going concerning the difficulties about conservatorships issues. Namely, if you do not trust or at least feel strongly about the need to be the primary decision-maker for your child then you may push harder for exclusive decision-making capabilities for your child in some regard. This may be especially true if Your Co-parent has ever had issues with drug or alcohol abuse. Factors like this as well as family violence can bring into question a parent’s ability to make sound decisions on behalf of their child. As such, you should work with your experienced family law attorney to decide how to proceed in this regard. You may be less comfortable with your Co-parent having significant decision-making authority and rightfully so.

Time with your children

Above all else, parents at the beginning of almost every child custody case that I've ever been involved with are concerned about losing time with their children. There is something about the reality of it being involved in a child custody case that brings into question appearance ability to spend as much time as they would like with their children. It is almost without a doubt true that you will not be able to exert as much autonomy over the time your child spends with you as you had before. It is sometimes easy to take for granted your ability to see your child whenever you want. Knowing that you may not be able to do this in the future can be a scary proposition for most parents. Therefore, I understand the concern that parents show in these circumstances.

With that said, the entire subject of time with your children revolves around which parent is named the primary conservator of your children. When we consider this designation, we can then answer every other question involved in a child custody case as it pertains to time with the kids. Time with the kids will mean that your children either live with you primarily or that you have visitation rights concerning your children. Let's spend some time discussing how you may come to have either of these rights after a custody case.

In almost every child custody case, one parent is named the primary conservator of the children while the other parent will have visitation rights. The primary conservator of children can chairman the primary residence of your kids. That means he or she will designate their home as the primary residence of the kids and be able to spend time with the children on a more frequent basis. This means that your children will reside with the primary conservator during the week during the school year. Since the school year represents most of the calendar year the primary conservator ends up having the kids in their possession more than the nonprimary conservator.

What this does not mean is that the nonprimary Conservatory for children does not fit anytime with the kids. However, what we do know is that the primary conservator of children has more significant time with the children and more significant opportunities to make decisions on their behalf. Therefore, arguments and disagreements over primary conservatorships represent the most likely reasons why your divorce or child custody case would end up going to a trial.

Many parents have understood about primary conservatorships before a case even begins. If you are in a situation where you know that your job requires you to be out of town for long periods, then you probably are not in a position to be able to argue that you should be named as the primary conservator of your kids. However, if you have fulfilled the role of caretaker for your kids consistently over many years then you are in as good a position as any parent to be named as primary Conservatory. Therefore, it would not be illogical for you to attempt to gain this designation.

I should also mention that a primary conservator has the children more often during the school year while this may not necessarily be true for the rest of the year. When it comes to holiday and vacation time it is more likely that you and your Co-parent will share time nearly equally during the rest of the year. This is due in large part to the fact that holiday time is split down the middle and alternated based on the year. whatever your specific situation is it is worthwhile to determine whether you are equipped to act as the primary conservator of your children. Acknowledging that you may not be as well suited as your Co-parent to act in this role is not an admission of not being a good parent. Rather, you are acknowledging that the best interest of your children may be better served with another person fulfilling this responsibility. In the long run, that is better for both you and your kids.

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. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case. Thank you for your interest in our law practice.

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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 important 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.

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