Spring Child Custody Lawyer
Facing a child custody dispute is one of the most stressful things any parent can go through. You want what is best for your child, but you and their other parent may disagree about what that means. If you live in Spring, TX, hiring an experienced Spring child custody lawyer can give you the tools to fight for your ideal custody arrangement.
At the Larson Law Office, we understand how difficult even less contentious child custody disputes can be. Our dedicated attorneys work directly with you every step of the way. We pride ourselves on our ability to realistically evaluate your situation and communicate our evaluation comprehensively and compassionately. With you in the driver’s seat, we offer our honest advice and years of experience to help you toward your child custody goals. Contact us today if you need a child custody attorney serving clients iin Spring, TX.
Types of Custody
In Texas, child custody is established through “conservatorships.” There are three types of conservatorships:
- Joint managing conservatorships (JMC),
- Sole managing conservatorships (SMC), and
- Possessory conservatorships.
Although these conservatorships may sound similar to child custody terms used in other states, Texas conservatorships do not correspond perfectly to joint and sole custody.
Joint Managing Conservatorships
When you are a joining managing conservator, you and your child’s other parent both have the right to participate in important decisions about the child’s life. Sometimes that looks like split physical custody, where the child spends roughly equal time living with each parent.
However, JMCs also include arrangements where only one parent has primary physical custody of the child, meaning the child lives with that parent a majority of the time. The parent the child lives with, known as the custodial parent, usually has the right to make many day-to-day decisions and choose where the child lives within a certain area. The noncustodial parent has the right to visitation and must be consulted on big decisions.
Sole Managing Conservatorships and Possessory Conservatorships
When your child is under an SMC, one parent has the exclusive right to make important decisions about the child’s life. The child typically lives full-time with the parent who has the SMC.
If one parent has an SMC, the other parent will usually have a possessory conservatorship. A parent with a possessory conservatorship does not have to be consulted on big decisions but has visitation rights to regularly see their child, but that visitation might be supervised.
When parents agree on how custody should work, they can usually get a judge to approve the terms of a custody order quickly. Parents do not always agree, however, on what would be best for their child. When disagreements arise, the best way forward can be unclear. A Spring child custody attorney can advise you on the best strategy based on your unique situation.
Sometimes you can engage in simple negotiation with the other parent. Other times, mediation may get you where you want to be. When those options do not work, you can take the other parent to court.
Resolving any child custody dispute begins with determining the child’s best interests. The law presumes a JMC is in the child’s best interests unless one parent has engaged in abuse or neglect.
In evaluating the child’s best interests, a family court looks to:
- What the child wants, if the child is old enough;
- The ability of the parent to meet the child’s emotional and physical needs;
- The home environment the parent can provide; and
- The relationship between the parent and the child.
The court must consider the balance of these factors and any others it finds appropriate as a whole.
Modifying a Child Custody Order
If you have a custody order in place and need to modify it, the easiest way to do so is to get the other parent to agree to the modification. If you cannot reach an agreement, you will have to file in court and explain how you or the child’s circumstances have “materially or substantially changed” since the original custody order went into effect.
Circumstances that may qualify as material or substantial changes include:
- A parent being convicted of child abuse or family violence,
- Death of a conservator,
- One conservator interferes with the rights of another,
- New stepfamily, or
- Instability at home.
Every situation is unique. Consult with a child custody attorney serving clients in Spring, TX, to discuss whether your circumstances could qualify for modification.
Get Help from a Spring Child Custody Lawyer at the Larson Law Office
If you are facing a child custody dispute, you need a lawyer you can trust to fight for you while offering their honest, unbiased legal opinion. You get exactly that from Erik and Diana of the Larson Law Office. We ensure we keep in active communication with every client, tailoring our strategies to your unique family situation. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.