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Denton Child Custody Lawyers
Texas Child Custody Laws
In Texas, child custody is also referred to as "conservatorship." Conservatorship refers to the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent or guardian to make decisions about a child's upbringing, including the education, medical care, and religion.
Child custody is frequently one of the most contentious areas of law – and sometimes it can get ugly. Even if the procedure is relatively harmonious, Texas family law is complex and the assistance of an experienced Denton child custody lawyer who understands the nuances of the local legal system can make the difference between success and failure.
In addition to support modification, our team also handles the following types of cases:
- Child support
- Property Division
- Divorce modification
- Enforcement of Orders
- Protective Orders
- Criminal defense
Determining Child Custody in TX
Texas courts will consider a variety of factors as they seek to resolve child custody cases. Some of the factors that will be taken into consideration include:
- Emotional and physical needs of the child
- Ability of each parent to provide for their child's needs
- The child's preference, if the child is 12 years old or older
- Stability of each parent's home environment
- Willingness of each parent to encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any history of domestic violence
Types of Child Custody in Texas
Texas offers several options for custody arrangements, including sole custody, joint custody, and split custody.
- Sole custody: One parent has physical and legal custody of the child, meaning that the parent has rights to make decisions about education, healthcare, and religion, without consulting the other parent. The other parent may have visitation rights, but they are not involved in any decision-making.
- Joint custody (shared custody): Both parents have legal rights and responsibilities for their children, including the right to make decisions about their education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.
- Split custody: Children of a divorced/separated couple have equal time with each parent. This entails coordinating schedules and working together to make major decisions concerning their children's education, healthcare, and well-being.
Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Long Does a Child Custody Case Take in Texas?
The length of a child custody case may vary depending on several factors. A typical child custody case can anywhere from several months to a few years to be resolved. A few of the factors that will play a role in the length of the child custody case include:
- The complexity of the case
- The willingness of both parties to reach a resolution
- The docket of the particular family court
In child custody cases, the court is primarily concerned with the best interest of the child. The court will work to ensure the case is resolved quickly while protecting and prioritizing the child's welfare.
Where Do I File a Petition to Modify Child Support in Texas?
If the child still lives in Texas, you are expected to file the custody modification case with the court that issued the original custody order, even if the child now lives elsewhere in Texas. If the child has been living elsewhere for at least six months, however, you can petition the court to transfer the case to a new court in the child’s current jurisdiction so that future proceedings will take place in the child’s new location. If the child no longer lives in Texas, the situation can get complicated. Hiring a highly knowledgeable Denton Child Custody Lawyer that understand the laws in this area is very important.
What Is the Process for Modifying a Custody Order?
- You must file a modification petition with the court that issued the original order. The petition must assert legal grounds for modifying the original order.
- You must pay a filing fee and perhaps a service fee unless you are indigent.
- A hearing will be held on your petition, which the other parent is entitled to attend.
How Long Does a Custody Modification Case Take?
If everyone agrees, the case could be over in a few days. If your case is contested, however, the process could take considerably longer than that. And even if both parents agree, the judge will still apply the “best interests of the child” standard, and he is entitled to reject the custody modification petition.
Don't wait to get started on your case. Contact our firm today to speak with our Denton child custody attorneys.