Attorney for Child Custody
If you and your spouse are considering filing for divorce and have children, one of your biggest fears may be losing custody of your child. Custody battles frequently splinter parents, each of whom may feel like they are simply looking out for the best interests of their child.
Learn About Joint Managing Conservatorship
To address complex child custody issues, Texas adopted legislation that requires Joint Managing Conservatorship. Custody laws change if there are complications or evidence of child abuse, neglect, drug abuse or other conditions that could result in the deterioration of the emotional or physical well being of the child. Joint Managing Conservatorship establishes a legal process to allow both parents to participate in the lives of their children and gives each parent equal access to decide important elements of their child’s care. The goal of the Texas child custody laws is to accommodate the desires of both parents and allow each parent to be involved in their child’s life.
Under these laws, both parents have responsibilities morally, educationally, physically and religiously. The Joint Managing Conservatorship does not outline all residence or custody issues but allows for each parent to be involved in the growth and development of their child. The current assumption in most families is that child rearing responsibilities have been shared prior to the divorce, and therefore, under Texas law the state courts are not allowed to consider “the qualifications of the respective parents with regard to the sex of the parent”.
Joint Managing Conservatorship does not mean each parent will have equal physical access to the child, it simply means certain rights and duties are shared by both parents.
During your periods of possession of the a child you have the following rights:
- The right to direct the moral and religious training of the child;
- The duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;
- The duty to support the child with adequate food, shelter, medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure.
- The power to consent to medical, dental and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child.
****Identified in the Family Code Sec. 153.074****
As Joint Managing Conservators, both parents will have the following rights at all times regardless of who is in possession of the child:
- The right to access your child’s medical, dental, psychological or education information.
- The right to discuss your child’s health related concerns with a physician, dentist or psychologist.
- The right to consult with school officials concerning the child’s educational and school activities.
- The right to attend school activities;
- The right to be notified in case of an emergency.
- The right to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.
***Identified in the Family Code Sec. 153.073***
These guidelines can be difficult to understand, and it is important to discuss this type of child custody arrangement with a Texas Family Law Attorney like myself. I can help you protect your rights and help you outline the type of custody responsibilities you will have concerning your child.
Sole Managing Conservatorship
If you are awarded Sole Managing Conservatorship, you will be the legal party responsible for the rearing of your child. As a Sole Managing Conservator, you may not be required to consult with the other parent prior to making a decision concerning the health, education and welfare of the child.
In Texas, Joint Managing Conservatorship will be granted unless there is evidence of abuse up to two years prior of the divorce proceeding. The court may not appoint joint managing conservators if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or any person younger than 18 years of age. In deciding child custody and conservatorship, Texas courts may also consider other abusive, illegal or neglectful actions that of a parent which may not be in the best interest of the child.
State Custody Considerations:
If you do not live in the state of Texas it is important to understand that the laws of your state may vary from Texas child custody laws. Increasingly, states have modified child custody arrangements to establish more equality between mothers and fathers and state courts have started considering the needs of the father and the value they provide to a child’s well-being. State courts no longer assume the mother is the best custodian for the children. Whether you are the mother or the father of the child, my lawfirm will fight to protect your rights in the custody process.
Do I Need An Arlington Divorce Attorney?
Currently half of all marriages end in divorce and one of the most difficult issues related to the dissolution of the marriage is the child custody arrangement. Ideally, you and your spouse can negotiate a written agreement to determine who will have the main responsibility of rearing the child. If the parents of the child fail to work out a suitable agreement the court will step in and decide custody.
Unfortunately, having the courts decide child custody issues can be difficult and expensive. The Judge does not know your child nor your child’s needs. It is always better for two parents to learn to co-parent without conflict if at all possible. By retaining me to represent you in your divorce, you will be making sure that the divorce process flows properly and that your interests and those of your child are represented.
Call Leigh Ann Schenk at 817-860-9998 when you need a lawyer immediately.