Child Custody Attorneys in The Woodlands, TX

Parents involved in a legal dispute over their relationship with their children are often overwhelmed. Not only can this type of conflict bring emotional turmoil, but the laws and procedures implicated in Texas child custody cases can also be challenging to understand. You need compassionate and knowledgeable child custody lawyers serving The Woodlands to help you navigate this tough time.

The Larson Law Office’s Child Custody Attorneys

The Woodlands child custody lawyers at The Larson Law Office can help you during this trying time. At the core of our firm is the principle of client-centered advocacy. We focus on thoroughly understanding our clients to help guide our legal strategy. 

At The Larson Law Office, our experienced litigators handle your case directly. We pride ourselves on our personalized service, which is of utmost importance in a child custody matter. With our zealous child custody lawyers in The Woodlands and the greater Houston area, you can rest assured that we’ll fight to protect your rights. 

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Child Custody in TexasThe Woodlands Child Custody Lawyers

Child custody refers to the legal relationship between a parent or guardian and a child. In Texas, child custody is called conservatorship. Conservatorship generally involves two elements: 

  • The ability to make decisions about a child’s life, and
  • Time spent with the child.

In a Texas conservatorship case, a family court judge will decide these issues based on the child’s best interests. This concept involves the consideration of several factors, as we’ll discuss later in this article.

Managing Conservatorship

The ability to make major decisions about a child’s life is called managing conservatorship in Texas. In a conservatorship case, a court typically grants one or both parents the right to make significant decisions regarding their child’s life. Significant decisions about the child include decisions regarding the following:

  • Education and schooling;
  • Religion and religious practice;
  • Physical medical care and treatment, including vision and dental care;
  • Mental health care, including the need for therapy or psychiatric care; 
  • Extracurricular activities;
  • The ability to get a passport and travel; and
  • Other significant decisions that affect the child’s well-being.

Generally, Texas courts assign both parents joint managing conservatorship unless there’s a history of abuse or conduct by a parent that is detrimental to a child. This means that both parents have an ability to participate in all of these significant decisions about their child’s life. Parents with joint managing conservatorship must learn to cooperate and communicate effectively despite any personal conflicts.

Sometimes, the court assigns only one parent conservatorship rights. This is called sole managing conservatorship. A court could give sole managing conservatorship to one parent if the other has a history of abuse or violence. For more information on conservatorship, you should contact one of The Woodlands child custody attorneys at our firm.

Physical Possession

During the conservatorship process, the judge will also determine how the parents split time with the child. Unless it’s not in the child’s best interests, Texas courts typically employ a standard possession order to assign time between the child and each parent.

Parents can also negotiate other schedules that work better for their family. A court will have to approve any alternative parenting plan. However, so long as the parents can show that it’s in the child’s best interests, a court is likely to approve these alternatives. If you need help advocating for or negotiating a parenting plan that works for you and your child, contact one of our child custody attorneys serving The Woodlands today.

How Texas Courts Decide Custody

Texas courts primarily decide conservatorship issues based on the best interests of the child and whether either parent has a history of violence or abuse. Even if the parents negotiate conservatorship and a parenting plan, the court will still weigh this agreement against the child’s best interests.

Best Interests of Child

A court weighs all decisions concerning a child against the child’s best interests. Texas law lists several factors that a court will examine to decide the child’s best interests, including the following: 

  • The child’s age,
  • The child’s wishes,
  • The child’s current and future emotional and physical needs,
  • Each parent’s capacity as a caregiver,
  • The stability of each parent’s home,
  • Any physical or emotional danger the child currently faces or may foreseeably face in the future,
  • Acts or failures by either parent indicating a parent-child relationship or lack thereof,
  • The child’s routine,
  • The presence of siblings in either home, and
  • Whether either parent has a history of violence or abuse.

To determine the child’s best interests, the court may request input from others in the child’s life, such as grandparents, doctors, teachers, or social workers. 

History of Abuse

In a conservatorship proceeding, the judge must also examine whether either parent has a history of violence or abuse. This includes a parent’s history of child abuse, child violence, sexual assault, child neglect, or any form of family violence. Generally, a court will not appoint a parent with a history of violence as a managing conservator. Instead, the other parent will be the sole managing conservator.

Additionally, if one parent has such a history, the court could limit or terminate their ability to spend time with the child. A court could also arrange supervised visitation with the parent who has a violent history. 

Changing a Child Custody Order

Children’s and parents’ lives change over time. As a result, you may be curious about whether you can modify a conservatorship or possession order. The only way to change a Texas custody order is to file a motion in court. As with any issue affecting the child, you must show that the new proposed order is in the child’s best interest. 

Modifying a conservatorship order can be complicated. You should speak with one of The Woodlands child custody lawyers at The Larson Law Office to help build a strong case. 

Contact Our Woodlands Family Law Attorneys Today

Texas conservatorship law is detailed and can be difficult to navigate, particularly during an emotionally trying time. You need the client-centered litigators at The Larson Law Office to fight for your family during this process. Our family law practice is here to help. Contact us today.