Delivering the Best Counsel in Your Custody Battle
Custody battles are perhaps the most stressful part of any divorce. As hard as lengthy custody negotiations can be on the parents, the effects on the children can be even worse. That’s why we do everything in our power to ensure that the process is carried out as fairly and efficiently as possible.
Parents in Texas have two options for child custody: Sole Managing Conservatorship or Joint Managing Conservatorship.
Sole Managing Conservatorship
Sole managing conservatorship, otherwise known as sole custody, is when one parent is given full responsibility for making decisions on the child’s behalf. Such decisions include:
- Medical/dental decisions and treatments
- School attended
- Religious practices
- Extracurricular activities
In the state of Texas, a parent with sole managing conservatorship is also entitled to receive child support payments to assist with the child’s needs. When deciding to award sole custody in Texas, the overall welfare of the child is the most important deciding factor in court. In order to convince a Texas judge to grant sole managing conservatorship instead of joint custody, you and your lawyer must present convincing evidence that sole custody is in the best interest of the child. Any documentation indicating a criminal history or drug/alcohol abuse are compelling pieces of evidence in any custody case. In accordance with Texas law, any child over the age of 12 is allowed to choose which parent they prefer to live with full time as long as either parent is capable of providing a home that is in the best interest of the child.
Joint Managing Conservatorship
Joint managing conservatorship is the legal term for joint custody. In a joint managing conservatorship, both parents share custody of the child based on legally-established agreements on time and location. Major decision-making abilities including medical, dental, school attended, religious practices, and extracurricular activities are also split between both parents.
In joint custody cases, the judge has the final decision on where the child’s primary residence will be. If your home is chosen as the child’s primary residence, this means you have been designated as the child’s primary conservator and the other parent is now the non-custodial conservator.
The non-custodial conservator still has joint custody of their child, and will now have to pay child support depending on the terms of the settlement, but it does not mean that each parent will have 50/50 custody of the child. Possession and access will be determined based on the location of each parent, and the continuing relationship between the child and the parent.
In Texas, there is a presumption that the Standard Possession Order laid out in the Family Code is in the best interest of the child. It will be up to your lawyer to lay out the facts and circumstances to rebut that presumption.
Modifying Custody Orders
Even after the final divorce, parents can move to modify their custody agreements based on specific changes. These changes, legally known as modifications, can be made based on changes in circumstances or major life events including relocation, illness or significant behavior change on the part of either guardian. With strong evidence to back up any claims that the current arrangement is harmful to your child, Taly, as your lawyer, can make a compelling case for modification.
A Lawyer Who Will Fight for You and Your Child
Taly Thiessen combines her family law expertise with her experience in criminal law to craft winning strategies in Texas child custody cases. Mrs. Thiessen will help you assemble the most compelling evidence and build you a strong case against your ex-husband or wife.