Your relationship with your child is of paramount importance. When that relationship is challenged or threatened, you may not know where to turn. Perhaps you understand that you have parental rights or that there’s a judicial process in place to protect your relationship. However, navigating the child custody laws in Texas can be highly stressful and confusing. This is why you need a Katy child custody lawyer who understands the high stakes in a child custody matter and brings compassion to your representation. You need The Larson Law Office.

The Larson Law Office’s Katy, Texas, Child Custody Attorneys

The Larson Law Office can help you during this difficult time. Our Katy child custody law attorneys are seasoned litigators who work hard to develop close and trusting relationships with clients. Our practice and legal strategies are always client-centered. We care deeply about fighting for your best interests.

Plus, with our office, you’ll never be treated as just another case number. Our child custody lawyers serving Katy, TX, won’t pawn you off on a paralegal or inexperienced attorney. Instead, when you hire one of our attorneys, you’ll benefit directly from their decades of legal experience. Our mission is to provide high-quality legal representation to Texas families.

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What Is Child Custody in Texas?

In Texas, child custody is called “conservatorship.” Conservatorship consists of two elements: managing conservatorship and physical possession of the child. Judges decide conservatorship cases based on the best interests of the child. You should consult a Katy child custody lawyer to fully understand these legal standards. 

Managing Conservatorship

Managing conservatorship refers to the legal relationship between parents and children. This involves the ability to make significant decisions about the child’s life. Generally, these significant decisions about the child include the following issues:

  • Schooling and education;
  • After-school activities;
  • Religion and involvement in religious activities;
  • Physical medical care and treatment, including dental work and surgery;
  • Mental health care and treatment, including counseling;
  • Travel;
  • Getting, holding, and renewing the child’s passport; and
  • Any other issues affecting the child’s welfare.

Typically, a Texas judge will assign both parents joint managing conservatorship if it’s in the child’s best interest and there’s no history of abuse or other potentially harmful issues. You should speak with a Katy child custody attorney today to see which form of conservatorship is appropriate for your situation.

Physical Possession

The second aspect of Texas conservatorship is the physical possession of the child. This basically means that any conservatorship arrangement must create a schedule of how the parents split time with the child. As with the decisions about managing conservatorship, a court makes all child-parent scheduling decisions based on the best interests of the child. The court also will consider either parents’ history of violence or substance abuse in making this decision. 

The Best Interest of the Child

As mentioned above, courts make all child conservatorship decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. The law lays out many factors that a court must examine to decide the child’s best interest. These factors include:

  • The age and developmental level of the child;
  • The child’s wishes, particularly if the child is 12 years of age or older;
  • The child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs;
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the needs of the child;
  • The level of participation of each parent in the child’s life prior to the case;
  • Each parent’s stability;
  • The child’s routine;
  • The geographical location of each parent’s residence;
  • Any physical or psychological dangers or harm the child may face; and
  • Whether either parent has a history of abuse.

The court can also consider any other factor that it believes is relevant. A court may require evidence from witnesses such as other adults in the child’s life to decide the best interests of the child. One of our Katy child custody law lawyers can better explain what a court will consider in your specific case.  

A Parent’s History of Abuse

The court may significantly limit a parent’s ability to make decisions on behalf of the child. They could also limit a parent’s physical access to the child if that parent has a history of abuse. This problematic history could include episodes of violence, child abuse, domestic violence, child neglect, or other family violence. 

Generally, a court will not appoint a parent with a history of abuse as a managing conservator. Additionally, the court may limit that parent’s physical access to the child by, for example, making visitation supervised. The parent with the problematic history does have the right to challenge these decisions.

Types of Custody Arrangements

Texas courts typically find that a standard possession order is in the child’s best interest. Essentially, this plan assigns one parent’s residence as the primary residence of the child. The other parent then has the child on the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month and every Thursday. The parents split holidays, vacations, and other special occasions. 

Parents can negotiate a different schedule, such as 50/50 custody or another schedule that works better for them. The court, however, must first approve any child possession order and will examine the proposed schedule for whether it’s in the child’s best interests. 

Changing a Custody Order

Life and circumstances change for every family over time. However, you cannot change an existing conservatorship order on your own. You must first file a motion with the court to modify your current custody order. Like with other conservatorship decisions, the court decides on the modification motion by examining the best interests of the child. Our Katy child custody lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of a modification motion. 

Call Our Katy, Texas, Child Custody Lawyers Today

Conservatorship cases are difficult to navigate. You need compassionate and experienced family attorneys by your side to fight for your rights and interests. The Larson Law Office is here to help. Our client-centered approach, combined with our extensive Texas family law experience, sets us apart. Contact us today.